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Jail Chaplain Reflections | Working the 12 Steps in the Jails

Prism chaplains fill many roles in our work in the LA County jails. Ann Noble, a theater artist and educator, serves as a volunteer lay chaplain at Central Regional Detention Facility (CRDF, the women’s jail). In addition to facilitating church worship services and meeting with women in individual chaplain visits, Ann serves as a sponsor to several women working the 12-Steps.For many women who have tried to work the steps before, Ann walks beside them on this journey at a critical time in their lives. “Ann listens without judgment. I feel like there’s nothing I can say that will shock her or make her not love me…and that’s a really big deal. I’ve done some horrible things,” says Michelle. Another woman working with Ann named Nadia said, “She helps me feel safe to say and write things I’ve been unable to face for many years. Sometimes I write it down and share it with Ann, but then I go back to my cell and tear it up and flush it down the toilet. It’s between me and Ann and God.”

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