JUMPSTART is a South Carolina based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to restoring the lives of inmates on the inside and outside of prison. We accomplish our mission by addressing the spiritual, educational, employment, healthcare, housing, and family relationship needs of current and former prisoners and assisting with their re-entry into society.

In 2008, a small group of volunteers, with the support of the Tyger River Correctional Institution’s chaplain, began ministering to the inmates at Tyger River. This group consisted mostly of retired men and women who went into the prison during the normal work-day. Two of our founding members worked night-time vocational jobs (one in janitorial office work and the other in pizza delivery) to support themselves and their families so they could answer God’s calling on their lives– Prison Ministry. These men along with their wives met together to talk through their “calling”, the challenges/struggles which were primarily financial. They discussed how the three of them might partner in the mission of “setting the captives free,” and the vision of JUMPSTART was born.

Inmates can apply to participate two years before their release. The Jump Start program begins with a 40-week intensive discipleship process that includes a class curriculum focused on transforming lives through worship, fellowship, discipleship, mentoring, serving others, living with a purpose and re-entry education. It uses unique, peer-to-peer assessments that ensures accountability and drives growth. The program stresses a daily living out of our core values of accountability, responsibility, and submission to authority.

1,000 inmates participate annually in 17 South Carolina prisons, including both institutions that only house females. Over 500 complete our discipleship program each year.

Upon completion of the 40-week inside program and release from prison, the 12-month outside program provides participants a Christ-centered program with low-cost, safe and stable housing, access to free physical, mental, dental healthcare, as well as a recovery program for chemical dependency. We provide individual case management with mentoring and financial stability training. JUMPSTART helps participants secure permanent and meaningful employment at a living wage, and assists participants with transportation to service providers, employment, and shopping. JUMPSTART has fifty participants on the outside at any given time. We are currently at capacity.

The JUMPSTART program has a 96% success rate for participants that complete both the Inside and Outside program and graduate.  Successful participants are gainfully employed in positions that pay a living wage and have growth potential. They live in stable housing, are a member of a church, and utilize sound financial principles to live within their means and meet their obligations. They have a healthy support network, and often become leaders within their communities. Most of all, they live surrendered lives to Jesus Christ and live out God’s purpose for their lives.

We have a strong staff that coordinates, trains and assists over 100 volunteers in carrying out the mission of JUMPSTART.

Our focus will be to put in place the necessary infrastructure and staff for JUMPSTART’s long term organizational growth and sustainability. Our plan includes “Restoration Village Upstate” (a JUMPSTART Community), a community unlike any other.  The village will provide transitional housing for those re-entering society from prison in a community setting that prepares them to be productive citizens.