The first 3-day "short course in
Christianity" inside a prison was held at Union Correctional Institution in
Raiford, Florida, in the fall of 1976. It was called "Cursillo in Prison".
By 1978, several states were presenting the Cursillo in Prison program in their
prisons. As the ministry grew, Cursillo of Florida asked the group to more
closely align the program with inmate needs. In 1979 "Kairos" which in
Greek means "God's Special Time", was born. Today, this program is
referred to as Kairos Inside.
In the late '80s a chaplain at San Quentin Prison
sensed that incarcerated Kairos participants were now open to reuniting with
their families. The chaplain asked Kairos to create a program that might
minister to the female family members of the incarcerated. In April 1990,
the second of the Kairos programs, Kairos Outside, held their
first weekend in northern California.
Kairos Torch, Kairos's third
program, held its first weekend program in September 1997 at a youth facility in
Oklahoma. The Torch program is directed toward young people (under 25) who
are experiencing incarceration. With well trained mentor volunteers, Torch
encourages the youthful offenders to recognize their God-given potential, and
help them to develop skills to lead a productive life and have hope for the
Kairos Prison Ministry Today
Today, Kairos Inside, Kairos Outside
and Kairos Torch
together comprise Kairos Prison Ministry International. Kairos is an
international ministry with over 36,000 volunteers donating more than three
million hours of service every single year! These volunteers are bringing
the love of Christ to more than 400 institututions and fifty-five Kairos Outside
ministries in 32 states and 9 countries including Costa Rica, Australia, South
Africa, England, Canada, Northern Ireland, Dominican Republic and Peru.