About 60+ youth live at the Schaffner Juvenile Detention
Center in Harrisburg, PA. They reside in two different
sections of the center. The first being: "The
Pods." The second being: "The Shelter."
Pods houses the youth who have been involved in
heavy crimes. They live in a high security environment.
The Shelter offers a less harsh living environment
for trouble youth, without the need for high security.
Many of the children and youth come from torn
homes, needing attention and care. Some of these kids
possess very little hope for the future and their family's
The Messiah students who visit Schaffner quickly become
some of the kids’ favorite visitors. As we arrive
at Schaffner we sign in and decide whether or not to
split up to visit both the Pods and the Shelter, or just
one or the other. Once in the Pods or Shelter, we play
a few games with the kids and have Bible study and
small group prayer sessions.
You will not only touch the lives of these kids, but
many of them will make a lasting impact upon you as
well, as you hear the challenges and highlights of their
The team visits young people in juvenile prison weekly to lead
a Bible study and to show them the love of Christ. Trips leave
Eisenhower Circle on Thursdays at 5:15pm and return around
• 87% of current delinquents have a parent or sibling
in jail, and many of these kids have their own
kids at home. The cycle of violence makes "being
good" seem impossible, and kids find themselves
in prison again and again.
• If recent incarceration rates remain unchanged, an
estimated 1 out of every 20 persons (5.1%) will
serve time in a prison during their lifetime." US
Dept. of Justice