Chapter 12 – Relating To Inmates


Upon conclusion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Explain the first rule for relating with inmates.
  • Summarize guidelines for relating to inmates.
  • Define a “setup.”
  • Explain how a setup occurs.
  • List three ways to avoid a setup.


As a member of a prison ministry team, you represent Jesus Christ–not yourself. You are His ambassador. By your actions, words and/or dress, you can help or hinder the work of His Church behind bars.

Building relationships is not easy outside a prison and it isn’t easy inside the prison. Some inmates may not be interested in spiritual matters. Some may completely reject you. Others may try to use you to further their own ends. It may help to recall Jesus’ parable of the sower of seed and the four kinds of soil upon which the seed fell. Inmates, like everyone else, will fit into one of those categories. This chapter provides guidelines for successfully relating to inmates in a jail or prison setting.

Read over the chapter study material and complete the self-test at the end. After this chapter is completed, mark complete and go to the next lesson.