On a Saturday morning, in April of 2004, three men convened for breakfast at the Frisch’s Restaurant on Dream Street in Florence, Kentucky. The location seemed appropriate as Tom Kelly, Tom Ison and Dave Sturm began discussing a dream of their own–one very close to their hearts. This day would later be considered historic, for it marked the beginning of Northern Kentucky Jail Ministries–an answer to a muffled cry for help from the men and women behind the cement walls, security checkpoints, and iron doors of the Kenton County Jail.
As time progressed, Northern Kentucky Jail Ministries expanded into other area counties. The men continued serving, meeting and praying. One fact became very obvious, their dream to operate Northern Kentucky Jail Ministries was too small. Correctional facilities across the Commonwealth of Kentucky held men and women whose lives were destined for destruction without intervention and hope. From their small beginning on Dream Street, Northern Kentucky Jail Ministries has now transitioned to one of the largest prison ministries in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, known as Kentucky Jail Ministries.
During the course of ministry, Terry Carl, the Kenton County Jailer, asked Dave Sturm to develop a curriculum-based program for the men and women in the Kenton County Jail. He requested the curriculum be structured to develop basic skills, elevating the inmate’s opportunity for a successful reentry into society. Dave and the founding team members immediately began designing the curriculum. The course would become known as Life Skills 101.
Life Skills 101 is now the cornerstone curriculum for the Kentucky Jail Ministries network. From basic accounting to leadership development, the curriculum is restoring hope and rebuilding the lives of men and women throughout Kentucky’s correctional facilities.