Prison Fellowship’s First Chance Network Receives Support from Center for Racial Equity

The First Chance Network Receives Two-Year Grant to Build Holistic Support for Children with an Incarcerated Parent

Washington, D.C., April 27, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Prison Fellowship®, the nation’s largest Christian nonprofit serving prisoners, former prisoners, and their families, has received an additional $1,250,000 to support Prison Fellowship’s First Chance Network, which uplifts children with incarcerated parents, from the Walmart Foundation.

Since 1982, Prison Fellowship Angel Tree® has served hundreds of thousands of children each year through thousands of church and community organizations. We witness firsthand the disheartening facts and figures related to this group of children, from higher poverty rates to a greater likelihood of becoming involved in the criminal justice system. Through no fault of their own, children with an incarcerated parent face persistent gaps in opportunity and exposure to enrichment.

Our vision is to create a collaborative network of corporate, philanthropic, community, and faith-based organizations working together to address these gaps and provide a meaningful first chance. Preventing children with an incarcerated parent from entering the justice system is just a baseline measure—improved life outcomes and human flourishing is the ultimate goal.

At Prison Fellowship, we celebrate the work of thousands of nonprofits and churches innovatively serving in this space. In addition, we salute the companies and organizations that seek to create equity for young people facing hurdles to success. While extraordinary strides are being taken in this arena, some families and young people impacted by parental incarceration are unaware of the service options available to them. And some organizations struggle to connect with those they hope to serve.

That’s why Prison Fellowship, with support from the Walmart Foundation, is continuing to build the First Chance Network, bringing corporate, philanthropic, community, and faith-based partners together to share best practices and shift mental models of how children with an incarcerated parent are perceived and equipped to thrive.

“Prison Fellowship is uniquely positioned as the leading faith-based organization equipping local churches, corporations, and other organizations to come alongside prisoners, the formerly incarcerated, and impacted families and children to provide both first and second chances, said Heather Rice-Minus, Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives with Prison Fellowship. “We are so thrilled to continue our collaboration with the Walmart Foundation and the Center for Racial Equity to expand the network of corporate, community, and faith-based partners—working together to help kids move from vulnerable beginnings to victorious futures.”

“The Center for Racial Equity focuses on addressing systemic racism in the U.S., including in the criminal justice system. By collaborating with the Prison Fellowship, we can provide youth with incarcerated parents opportunities and resources to help them thrive,” said Marvin D. Carr, Director of the Center for Racial Equity.

About Philanthropy at Walmart represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By focusing where the business has unique strengths, works to tackle key social and environmental issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 20 countries, employs more than 2.1 million associates and does business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. is helping people live better by supporting programs to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, advance equity, address hunger, build inclusive economic opportunity for people in supply chains, protect and restore nature, reduce waste and emissions and build strong communities where Walmart operates. To learn more, visit or connect on Twitter @Walmartorg. 

About Prison Fellowship
Prison Fellowship is the nation’s largest outreach to prisoners, former prisoners, and their families, and a leading voice for criminal justice reform. Each year, Prison Fellowship Angel Tree helps strengthen hundreds of thousands of prisoners’ families. With more than 45 years of experience helping restore men and women behind bars, As the founder of Second Chance Month, Prison Fellowship advocates for federal and state criminal justice reforms that transform those responsible for crime, validate victims, and encourage communities to play a role in creating a safe, redemptive, and just society.


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