Posts Tagged ‘families of offenders’

Former Prisoner Uses Experience to Help Others Survive the Justice System

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Surviving the Justice ExperienceBook Pinpoints Five Spiritual Lifelines for Families of Offenders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: The numbers are staggering– 90 million family members and friends of incarcerated or released felons are currently in the US according to estimates from author and clinical psychologist Kevin J. McCarthy. “I think I’ve scratched the surface of a horrible, horrible reality,” says McCarthy. “In reality, family members of offenders serve their prison sentence in the community.” With hopes of helping a growing group of underserved people, McCarthy reveals his experience with the American justice system in his new book Surviving the Justice Experience: An Essential Christian Resource for Families of Offenders (Ambassador International; May 2013; $16.99, paperback). McCarthy openly shares how his decisions landed him in prison and five spiritual lifelines for weathering any storm.

In his book McCarthy, who spent four years behind bars in California, highlights five spiritual lifelines that are key for getting through a prison sentence: mercy, grace, forgiveness, faith and hope. McCarthy holds nothing back as he shares his personal pain and difficulties with readers. Surviving the Justice System is a practical tool for family and friends of those who have spent time in prison, providing practical tips on how to help cope with social stigma.

McCarthy launched the Dismas Project, a non-profit focused on addressing the needs of children, spouses, and family members of offenders as well as the prisoners themselves. He says there are currently very few Christian resources available to these individuals.

McCarthy works tirelessly on prison outreach, corresponding monthly with 137 death row inmates in Louisiana and Mississippi. “I tell them that I’m just like they are. The only difference between us is our address at this time,” says McCarthy. “I might be a free man walking around but in my heart I remember what the experience is like.” McCarthy says there are many ministries for regular inmates, but few targeting the worst of the worst. “If Jesus could find me and touch my heart, he could do that for the hardest heart on death row.”

About the Author: Dr. Kevin J McCarthy is a retired clinical psychologist with 25 years of experience working with wounded families. His personal life experiences have served as a basis for developing a spiritual outreach to offenders and their families. Those experiences include recovery from an extended history of alcohol and drug abuse which led to a period of incarceration. Dr. McCarthy approaches his work from the level of his personal experiences and his clinical training ensuring a unique approach to the possibilities of a personal transformation. His current efforts have included authorship of three books on the dynamics of a redeeming life.

To learn more about the author and his new book Surviving the Justice System, visit For interview requests, please contact publicist Alison Storm at