Prison Ministry Project

The Prison Ministry Project is a pastoral ministry of word and sacrament for prisoners inside the walls. An outreach ministry of the United Church of Christ, its challenge is to serve prisoners, victims and their families, engage the wider church in prison issues and to be an advocate for prison reform.

This is a ministry of:

  • Help for their families, their victims and their communities.
  • Resource for local pastors and congregations faced with members in prison or who want to learn how they can respond to the Gospel of Matthew.
  • Advocacy for prison reform.
  • Cooperation with other denominations and social justice programs around the state.

The Prison Ministry Project is led by Rev. Jerry Hancock, based at First Congregational UCC in Madison. Rev. Hancock, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, entered the ministry after working for more than 30 years in the criminal justice system.  He became the Director of the Prison Ministry Project in February, 2006,



The Prison Ministry Project is excited to help any congregation respond to the resolution below, adopted at 2015 General Synod of the United Church of Christ. We are happy to do discussion groups, book study, Bible study or preach about prison and criminal justice issues. Our core group of volunteers has been inside the walls of Wisconsin Prisons more than 1500 times in the past ten years.

Dismantling Discriminatory Systems of Mass Incarceration in the United States

A Resolution of Witness [PDF]
Reaffirming its commitment to restorative justice, improving the criminal justice systems of state and federal governments, and recognizing that the privatization of the prison industrial complex has promoted and sustained the practice of mass incarceration, the General Synod adopted a Resolution to Dismantle Discriminatory Systems of Mass Incarceration. The resolutions calls on the bodies of the UCC to build our organizational capacity to address this injustice through national public policy advocacy and by:

  • Helping members to understand mass incarceration as a critical human and civil rights issue in the U. S.
  • Providing opportunities for education, mobilization, public witness, and policy advocacy
  • Recognizing the system’s disparate impact on people of color, youth, and people with limited economic resources


Find more information on our web page.

Ways to volunteer

Contact Rev. Jerry Hancock



On issues of Prison Reform in Wisconsin the best resource is the state wide faith based organizing group WISDOM or these local affiliates:
CUSH, Kenosha County
RIC, Racine County
MICAH, Milwaukee County
ESTHER, Fox Valley
JOSHUA and RUTH, Green Bay Area
NAOMI, Wausau Area
JONAH, Chippewa Valley
AMOS, LaCrosse Area
MOSES, Madison Area
SOPHIA, Waukesha County

Recommended reading for understanding issues of mass incarceration are:

  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

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Contact Us

(608) 846-7880