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:

  • Participation in events such as Ecumenical Advocacy Days and the Interfaith Criminal Justice Coalition
  • Sponsorship of Resolution GA-1723, "On Becoming Immigrant-Welcoming Congregations," which will be presented as a Sense-of-the-Assembly Resolution at the 2017 General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
  • Sponsorship of Resolution GA-1525, "A Call to End Solitary Confinement," which passed as an Item for Reflection and Research at the 2015 General Assembly
  • Educational workshops at General Assembly and other regional events
  • A Facebook group to help members stay connected and up-to-date on these important issues

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 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, and/or complete the form below. We look forward to hearing from you!

Interest Form
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Webinar: Becoming Immigrant Welcoming Congregations: A Study of Resolution GA-1723

June 22, 2017

This webinar introduces Resolution GA-1723 and begins a church-wide conversation exploring ways in which we can create, develop, and maintain immigrant-welcoming congregations as we strive to remain faithful to the Gospel.

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Webinar: Welcoming Those with Incarcerated Family Members

This webinar focuses on why and how congregations should nurture and support those with loved ones who are incarcerated and help reintegrate families with returning citizens.

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2017 Connect Webinars

July 12, 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"

Webinar: A Call to End Solitary Confinement

In this webinar, the National Benevolent Association (NBA) and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) discussed the challenging realities of solitary confinement and explored how the church should respond to this practice.

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Dean Bucalos

Mission Specialist, Prison and Jail Ministries Affinity Group

Hector J. Hernandez

Peer Group Convener, Prison and Jail Ministries