WARSAW — The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office announced that Pastor Jarod Osborne has been appointed the official Jail Chaplain of the Kosciusko County Jail and will help launch a new jail ministry program.
Osborne assumed the position of Jail Chaplain effective Jan. 1, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.
Osborne is the head pastor at Pathway Church in Warsaw. He shares a vision of a team approach with Sheriff Kyle Dukes in that all Kosciusko County churches are invited to partner in this ministry.
With the alarming number of people currently incarcerated for drug addiction issues, the jail ministry will also take a proactive role in providing programs to foster rehabilitation and teach life skills, said the news release.
“I am thrilled and honored to serve as the Jail Chaplain in Kosciusko County and work alongside so many amazing staff and volunteers that are making a difference. Incarceration can be a very discouraging time for the men and women inside the jail,” said Osborne.
Last fall, Osborne became involved with the county jail after Dukes and other community members spoke at Pathway Church during an addiction-focused sermon series. The purpose of the sermon series, Osborne said, “was to understand addiction, and frame a holistic view of how to address it.”
Dukes approached Osborne about “teaching a class on spirituality to one cell block of men,” Osborne said.
After seeing the class take “amazing steps toward growth in the last several months,” Osborne said, he “became even more passionate to see other men and women experience hope and freedom while in jail.”
Pastor Osborne will work closely with Tammy Cotton, who will oversee the rehabilitation programs. In the coming year developing and growing the jail ministry will be a top priority as the Sheriff’s Office strives to meet the needs of inmates and the community, said the news release.
“We are excited to welcome Pastor Osborne and Tammy Cotton to the Sheriff’s Office family,” said Dukes.
LITE (Living In Transition Effectively) will be the new name of the jail ministry program.
LITE in KCJ will serve as the re-entry program for all inmates. It will provide instruction in life skills, Bible studies, and educational classes as well as providing connections to counseling services and family building programs. Inmates will complete an assessment to determine their needs and connect them with courses, programs, and services; inmates may also sign up for classes they are interested in.
The voluntary program will focus on building relationships with the inmates throughout their stay in KCJ that will better equip them upon their release.
LITE will rely on individuals in the community to lead classes & programs, mentor inmates, facilitate Bible studies, assist inmates in setting goals, etc. Many of the classes, resources, and programs to be utilized are already in place so LITE will merely be collaborating with existing resources. Every LITE volunteer will be required to go through training, and background checks before being granted access to the KCJ.
“My hope is that by expanding programming and ministry opportunities, we can help inspire the inmates to reach their God-given potential while in jail,” said Osborne. “Positive relationships with volunteers can help inmates to see their worth, Change their lives, and be transformational leaders in their homes, businesses, and communities,” he said.
The program will officially launch by April 1, but there are a few classes that are currently being offered which will continue and a couple more scheduled to be launched prior to that. New programs and classes will be added as we grow and train our volunteer base and our curriculum.
As LITE gains momentum, Osborn said leaders are “trying to listen and learn from the input of those who are currently serving in and those who reside in the jail.”
“We are building a wide network of people in our community who have a similar passion to help the inmates live in transition effectively, and become transformed people who will help others live differently,” he said.
LITE will be a non-profit organization that will not use taxpayer funds in its normal operations. It will depend on the community for funding, leadership, and volunteers.
If anyone is interested in learning more about LITE or would like to volunteer, donate or partner with KCJ and LITE, please contact Tammy Cotton, Program Coordinator, at [email protected] or (574) 528-1602.