CPSO open door policy a blessing

Published 7:38 pm Friday, March 23, 2007

During the past 27 years, I have been a volunteer chaplain in the Orleans Parish Prison system.

I also serve as a volunteer chaplain at charity hospital, ministered at the Veteran hospital chaplain’s department, and counsel inmates at Angola and Hunt Prisons.

Before Hurricane Katrina hit the City of New Orleans, I evacuated to central Louisiana. Or you could say I just returned home, because I was born and raised in Clayton, La., a small town in Concordia Parish.

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I later found out that some of the inmates from Orleans Parish prison had been evacuated to Concordia Parish prison.

So I went to the court house to talk to Concordia Parish Sheriff Randy Maxwell to obtain permission to enter the prison to minister to Orleans parish inmates and the other inmates as well.

And thank Almighty God for Sheriff Maxwell’s open door policy, because that morning I talked to him about getting permission to enter the prison he granted it on the spot, right away. That same morning I went to the prison to begin to minister.

This started or began a biblically spiritual journey that has lasted to this present moment.

This is a godly journey that only Almighty God could have mapped out. Every Thursday night since the winter of 2005, I have been teaching Bible study at Concordia parish prison.

For the last year and a half, I have been spending half my time here in Concordia Parish and the other half in Orleans Parish because I have a house there damaged by Katrina and I also have a small business there in the area.

I thank the Lord Jesus for the sheriff, the wardens, deputies, employees, and Chaplains Bandy and Richardson for their hospitality.

Ivory Lloyd Turner

Clayton, La. resident