NBA Prison and Jail Ministries

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 the NBA Prison and Jail Ministries, 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:

Within this network of nearly 400 members, we convened a smaller Prison and Jail Ministries Peer Group of 11 leaders to meet for two years, in-person and virtually, to cultivate encouragement, dialogue, spiritual renewal, and peer-to-peer learning. This group concludes their time together in April 2018, after which a second cohort will be formed, intending to focus their attention on the issue of immigration detention.

Stories and Resources

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

  • Our blog series, discussing important justice issues and highlighting a variety of ministries that are making an ongoing difference in this work
  • Our 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.
  • NBA's "Called to Care" eNewsletter, a monthly email featuring stories across Disciples health and social service ministries - sign up here! 

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 UrbanMission through the NBA Incubate Initiative. We look forward to deepening our partnerships and shared work in the coming year!

Join Us!

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

Interest Form
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Webinar: Beyond the Labels: The Humanization of God’s Children

September 27, 2018

This webinar addresses the reality that how we think and talk about certain people in this country is counter to what it means to be created in the image of God, and people of faith have a role in dismantling these images that fuel and support an unjust criminal system. Presented in partnership with Reconciliation Ministry.

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NBA+OGMP On the Road: Kentucky

September 26, 2018

General Minister and President Rev. Terri Hord Owens joins NBA staff and health and social service ministry partners to visit with Disciples in the Kentucky Region!

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2016-18 NBA Prison and Jail Ministries Peer Group

From 2016 to 2018, the NBA connected prison and jail ministry leaders to cultivate support, mutual dialogue, spiritual renewal, and learning.

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Webinar: Incarceration, Justice, and Restoration

The following resources offer an introduction on how to lead a book study of Michelle Alexander's book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. This webinar is in part a follow-up from resolution GA-1323 presented and affirmed at the 2013 General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) as to how congregations can begin to learn about and get involved in prison-related topics.

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Dean Bucalos

Mission Specialist, Prison and Jail Ministries Affinity Group

Héctor J. Hernández

Peer Group Convener, Prison and Jail Ministries; Hispanic Outreach Coordinator, Mental Health Initiative