To reach out to family members of inmates incarcerated in juvenile facilities, jail, or prison by offering an authentic community through support, hope, information, and prayer.
Nita Brady and her son, Jon
Nita and Beyond the Walls members
"I don't know what I would have done without the group...in my deepest need, they were there for me" – Neontha
"There is great love and camaraderie here...no judgement" – Alvina
"It is a safe place to share what's really on your heart about your incarcerated loved one" – Linda
"It feels good to know I'm not alone"
"I learn something every time I come here" – Cheryl
"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5
Over 20 years ago, Nita Brady started the faith-based support group "Beyond the Walls". Someone once said, "Necessity is the mother of invention". And that saying truly applies in this case. Because she was in great need of connecting with other mothers who were experiencing what she was experiencing--having a son in prison--she began the group, starting with one other mother. Over the years, the group has expanded to include wives, sisters, girlfriends, and grandmothers. Despite all of their differences (age, background, cultural, walks of life), they all have one thing in common: they have a loved one locked up. It is a special group with a strong bond. Emotional and spiritual support is given and received--not only at meetings, but in between times as well. Information is shared; encouragement abounds; empowerment is experienced in a real way.
How the Group Got its Name:
As Nita was seeking God about starting the group, feeling overwhelmed, she prayed, "Lord, I don't know anything about support groups... I don't even know what I would call it...." The answer came immediately, "I want you to call the group Beyond the Walls, because My Spirit can go beyond the walls of any prison and minister in ways you could never imagine; likewise, My Spirit can go beyond the prison walls to minister to the families in ways you cannot imagine."
So...Beyond the Walls was born.
About the Founder
Nita Brady did Staff Development and Leadership Training for a large hospital system in the Central Valley, Ca for over 20 years. But her real passion has been to minister to the families of prisoners for over 20 years, because of her own personal experience. Her group Beyond the Walls currently has 35 members, and there are two "sister groups" that were started as a result of the original group, one in Oregon, one in Washington. A third group is being planned for the Sonora Region. Her other passion is reaching out and ministering to the juveniles in Juvenile Hall, which she has also done for over 20 years. During their school time, she teaches them Life Skills, Safe Coping Skills, Conflict Management, and Social/Interpersonal Skills. In the evening, under the Chaplaincy Program, run by Youth for Christ, she reaches out to them spiritually, leading them to Christ, praying with them, and doing Bible studies.
Beyond the Walls for Kids graduates