NBA Prison and Jail Ministries

Affinity Group

A collaborative ministry addressing justice issues within America’s prisons and jails.

The NBA connects collaborative communities of Disciples working together on particular health and social service justice issues through Affinity Group Ministries. Through the NBA Prison and Jail Ministries Affinity Group, we focus on supporting congregations and individuals as they engage in prison- and jail-related ministries, and connecting conversations across Disciples-related ministries in order to strengthen this work.

"It seems that creative, innovative methods for an obviously dysfunctional criminal justice system are now necessary...together, we can explore and exchange new ideas and approaches." --Rev. Dean Bucalos, Mission Specialist, NBA Prison and Jail Ministries

Our Work

The work of the Prison and Jail Ministries Affinity Group centers around inspiration, advocacy, and education, including:

Stories and Resources

Learn more and engage with NBA Prison and Jail Ministries through:

  • Our monthly blog series, discussing important justice issues and highlighting a variety of ministries that are making an ongoing difference in this work
  • Our regular webinar series, exploring topics such as mass incarceration, mentoring programs for returning citizens, the use of prolonged solitary confinement, juvenile justice and restorative justice, and the connections between mental illness and incarceration, and safe sanctuary protocols, among others.

Our Team

Our Partners

Much of this work cannot be accomplished without the collaboration and encouragement of our ministry partners: Reconciliation Ministry, Disciples Center for Public Witness, Disciples Justice Action Network, Disciples Home Missions, UCC Justice and Witness Ministries, and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. Additionally, we're pleased to also work with ministry partners like Mission Behind Bars and Beyond and Urban Mission through the NBA Incubate Initiative and Disciples Care Exchange. We look forward to deepening our partnerships and shared work in 2017!

Join Us!

To learn more and get involved, please contact Rev. Dean Bucalos, Mission Specialist for NBA Prison and Jail Ministries, at We look forward to hearing from you!


Webinar: Becoming a Welcoming Community of Faith to Those with Family Members Who Are Incarcerated

April 6, 2017

This webinar will focus on why churches should become involved in nurturing and supporting those with loved ones who are incarcerated, and how our communities of faith can become part of the solution in reintegrating families when those who are incarcerated return home.

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2017 Connect Webinars

March 1, 2017

The NBA offers an annual series of webinars presented by the Mental Health Initiative and the Prison & Jail Ministries Affinity Group. Check back for more information and registration details throughout the year!

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VIDEO: "Baptism Behind the Bars"

NBA Gathers Prison & Jail Ministry Workers for a Two-Year Peer Group Experience

May 04, 2016

In April, eight prison and jail ministry practitioners gathered in Louisville, Kentucky, to attend the “Reaching Individuals Behind and Beyond the Bars” conference and to kick off the first NBA Prison and Jail Ministries Peer Group

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Webinar: Becoming a Welcoming Church: Safe Sanctuary Protocols

In this webinar, you will learn from a legal expert the conditions and restrictions applicable to those convicted of sex offenses, and from a pastor, how to establish protocols and procedures that make it possible to welcome them into your faith community.

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