Bike Outreach Ministry Aims to Break the Cycle of Crime

Some 30,000 Panhandle prisoners were reached by church’s healing spirit.
( [email protected] ) Aug 09, 2004 11:29 PM EDT

On Saturday, August 7, 2004, dozens of Harleys bikers, who were former drug dealers, ex-prostitues, and members of Tallahassee-area churches, gathered in Blountstown, Florida to participate in an event called “Break the Cycle Tour”.

The event promoted an exhilarating atmosphere of reunification among ex-prisoners to raise awareness for the need of reducing crime rate.

Spectators witnessed a motorcycle ride from River Town Community Church in Blountstown to Liberty Correctional Institution in Bristol. These bikers intended to send peaceful message to prisoners and families in their effort of comforting and rebuilding prisoners’ broken lives.

The event was part of a faith-based prison program operated under Operation Starting Line, a collaboration of Panhandle churches and ministries.

Operation Starting Line’s program offers spiritual education and life skills training which can be substantially beneficial to inmates after being released from prison.

The next event of Operation Starting Line's program will be from August 6 to 14 with the focus of educating prisoners in Northwest Florida area.

Operation Starting Line’ s program has been implemented in more than 600 correctional facilities in 21 states since its establishment in 2000.

According to the press release of Operation Starting Line, its missions are:

• Equip and encourage volunteers, ministries, churches, and other organizations to join in the effort to positively impact America’s prison system

• Assist prison chaplains and officials in providing comprehensive programs to address the key factors leading to crime – moral issues, education, skills, and relationships

• Impact and change the lives of hundreds of thousands of inmates by introducing them to the life-changing message of Jesus Christ

• Ultimately reduce the number of inmates who return to a life of crime after incarceration (currently more than two-thirds of released inmates)