Kairos is a local community-based Christian ministry that serves both those in prison and the families and friends of those in prison.
Kairos is a ‘hands-on’ activity helping bring:
- rehabilitation to the incarcerated through the possibility of hope and positive choices, and
- support and encouragement to those affected
Kairos, through over 2,000 volunteers around Australia reaches out to
- male and female inmates saying "You have a choice".
- family and friends of those inmates, saying "You are not alone".
- juvenile offenders, saying "There's a better way ahead"
At Kairos, we know we can't fix their problems or solve the causes, as people have to be allowed to make their own decisions. But we can help them to recognise, choose and live new lives.
Kairos makes a difference
Kairos is making a difference...
... to individuals, families and friends with whom we come in contact.
... to the environment of the correctional centres we access.
... to the next generation as they experience a change in the family members who begin, and therefore model, a lifestyle without crime.
... to the wider society, by helping to reduce the recidivism rate, and therefore reducing the cost of further imprisonment.
... to local communities as the ripple effect of someone making positive life choices flows out through their daily life to those with whom they come in contact.
Through a 40 hour program given over three to five days inside prisons (called a ‘Short Course’ ) and 25 hours given over a weekend for outside programs, Kairos presents the possibility of a different, positive life through supportive, compassionate and non-judgemental words, actions and examples. Then through ongoing ‘Journey’ visits and reunion days, continuing hope and support are offered and 'proven' by the continued contact ("walking the talk”).
Kairos is a mission to those inside prison and to those affected by having someone inside by ordinary men and women who have a heart for helping people on the basis of their faith.
Kairos makes a difference - because Kairos brings Love,
Acceptance and Forgiveness.
History of Kairos
Kairos commenced with a course (based on Cursillo) in Union Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison at Raiford, Florida USA, in 1976.
From that experience a model was developed that could be presented in any prison without changing the content or format. It was aimed specifically at one environment: that of correctional institutions. It was called "Kairos”. There are two Greek words for time. One of them, with which many are familiar, is chronos, meaning linear time, i.e., hours, days, weeks, etc. The other is kairos, used in the sense of ‘special time’ for a particular event.
Kairos was found to be a word of very special significance in the environment of the correctional institution, where the word time carries so many connotations.
‘Kairos Outside’ began in 1989, when the chaplain at San Quentin State Correctional Facility in California saw a need to help the families of those incarcerated, as the families on the outside were often having as many problems as the person on the inside.
The first Kairos course outside the USA was piloted in June/July 1995 at the Parramatta Correctional Institution, NSW Australia. Kairos Outside commenced in Australia in Sydney in May 1999. ‘Kairos Torch’ was introduced in Australia at the Frank Baxter Juvenile Justice Centre on the NSW Central Coast in April 2001.
Today Kairos is active in over 400 prisons worldwide, Kairos Outside operates in over 80 regions, Torch operates in over 30 juvenile centres, we currently have over 30,000 volunteers around the world.
Around Australia, Kairos is operating in over 20 correctional centres, Kairos Outside in over 11 regions and Kairos Torch in 2 juvenile facilities. Kairos Australia is in a growth phase, with regional and developmental committees in all states and territories planning and negotiating new opportunities.
Kairos Prison Ministry Australia (KPMA) is licenced by Kairos Inc. in the USA. KPMA is a Company Limited by Guarantee and is a not-for-profit charity, DGR (Deductible Gift Recipient, so gifts of $2 and over to Kairos are tax deductible) and ITEC (Income Tax Exempt Charity) registered.