Building community - Pollsmoor Prison

Building community - Pollsmoor Prison

A small church team, under the auspices of Hope Ministries, provide weekly life-coaching at Pollsmoor Prison with young men awaiting trial. The story-based programmes aim at restoring broken relationships and re-imagining life through the Gospel’s message of hope.

Initiating Jonah at Pollsmoor by Robert Steiner

During the last seven years of our prison ministry at Pollsmoor most of our courses have been geared towards helping young prisoners awaiting trial to re-imagine their lives in the light of a God who is interested in them and is willing to forgive and help restore what is broken.

In the Belly of the Whale by Joy Wanless

Going every Tuesday morning to Pollsmoor is something we look forward to because it is really rewarding to work with young men who want to be with us and have a desire to learn. We have a whole new class now with very few of the old members, because they have been sentenced and therefore moved to other prisons or, more commonly, to another section of Pollsmoor.

Feedback from Prison

Dear Brother and Sisters

I just want to say thank you for what you are doing in people’s lives, because it has touched my life too.

When I was small and still in Sunday School sessions I was there, but my mind wasn’t, even in youth also.

When I was starting to grow up, turning 14 years old I was beginning to meet people and starting bad habits. Every time I came to jail I would go home and do the same again. Now I have met you that want to help me, and I want to help myself too by making the right choices in my own life.

An Inside View by Carsten Stemmet

In a world where political correctness often whitewashes the darker side of reality, we have soft alternatives for the bleak word ‘prison’. We prefer ‘penitentiary’ or ‘correctional facility’, where ‘vocational training’ and ‘social services’ are provided. We even favour the term ‘inmate’ over the dehumanising word ‘prisoner’.

Christmas in Prison

Christmas wishes
Christmas for many is a time of getting together
But for us behind bars it’s emotionally much sadder.
This is a time of grief, sadness, hurt and pain,
This is what we were warned of: ‘loss we can’t explain’.
Christmas in our imagination is a desire of happiness, laughter and celebration,
But facing our consequences we choose to find ourselves in such a miserable situation;
Still we aught to be very thankful for people God sent to comfort and care for us,

Poems from Pollsmoor

A Prayer
Lord, I’m tired of living this life
Tired of being this person who has to struggle and strife
I have wandered off into a world doing my own thing
Not realising the pain and sorrow it might bring.
Dear Lord, I have never been so lonely and afraid
Cause the devil is now bringing forth destruction and hate.
Lord, I’m tired of having to wear this mask
Please come and bless me with a brand new task
I don’t want to be this person that Satan wants me to be

Reaping the Harvest by Joy Wanless


Many people imagine that sending someone to prison is an excellent way of getting rid of criminals and keeping them out of sight. We forget that the criminals are also very human and that they need a second, and sometimes a third chance to start over again.