Kairos Outside is an ecumenical ministry for women who have been affected by the imprisonment of a loved one, where they can learn how to cope with the incarceration. The Kairos Outside workshop is a Christian-based approach to healing for women with a loved one in prison but women of all faiths are welcome. Kairos Outside is specially designed to create a sacred and safe environment for these women, who often feel hopeless, isolated and alone.
The Cursillo workshop served as the model for Kairos Outside retreats The workshop is based on a series of talks by women who have an imprisoned loved one. The talks are interspersed with periods of sharing by the participants, many of whom are start to see that they are not alone in their experience, as well as structured periods of prayer and meditation.
Jo Chapman founded Kairos Outside. She and her husband Tom were regular volunteers at San Quentin Prison, leading Kairos Inside, a workshop in Christian faith for the male prisoners there. Chapman got the idea for Kairos Outside when the prison chaplain mentioned how much he thought that the families of prisoners needed a spiritual support community of their own.
In the last 10 years, over 1000 women have participated in Kairos Outside workshops, which now take place in 15 states and abroad.