Michigan jail opens new chapel through community donations

In this Sept. 3, 2017, file photo, a man holds a Bible during service at Christ United Church in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Cypress, Texas. Bible sales would not be banned in California under proposed state legislation, contrary to widely shared claims by multiple online sites. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

Inmates at a western Michigan jail have a new sanctuary for prayer and quiet reflection through the generosity of community members.

The Muskegon County jail has opened a non-denominational chapel where men and women can seek out space for contemplation and comfort, the Muskegon Chronicle reported.

The chapel is located in a former activities room on the jail's third floor, which was hardly used before, said Michael Poulin, the county sheriff.

Local businesses donated items for the chapel, he said. CNC Floor Coverings installed free carpeting. Living Word Church donated pews and a lectern. West Michigan Process Service chipped in, too.

"I'm a firm believer you don't need a chapel to pray. You can do it anywhere," said Poulin. "But some people need to be placed in that atmosphere to help them along."

The chapel will also offer programs by the Forgotten Man Ministries, which help inmates transition back into the community, Poulin said.

"It's a nice space," he said. "I'd really like it to be a space not just for ministry services for inmates, but even if staff need to go and reflect."

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