As a long-time, nationally lauded chaplain for both crime victims and prisoners on the county and federal levels, Rev. Dr. B. Bruce Cook saw that the prison system was imbalanced toward offenders’ rights at the expense of the victims’ rights. Cook set out to change that by founding the Crime Victims Advocacy Council in Atlanta, Ga. to facilitate spiritual and practical healing for victims of serious crimes.
This user-friendly resource book targets those interested in being chaplains or lay ministers to crime victims and prisoners. Cook details programs that teach inmates survival decision-making skills and religious values, as well as ways to amend for their crimes, such as through helping elderly widows restore their homes. Similarly, he offers guidance toward caring for crime victims through teaching them coping skills for stress and encouraging them to forgive as a way to let go of the power criminal offenses have over them.
Cook nicely incorporates humor in sharing his personal ministry story and closes the book with a list of organizational resources and useful websites. The book would have a greater impact, however, if he had relocated some or all of the personal stories of crime survivors from near the end to the front of the book to demonstrate early on the great need to alleviate their deep anger, pain and depression.