Prison Fellowship International is teaming up with Bible League International in a new initiative to reach a million prisoners with the Gospel by the year 2020.

Under the initiative, BLI is donating 225,000 East-to-Read Version Prison Bibles to graduates of a Prison Fellowship evangelism and discipleship program, The Prisoner's Journey, which is expected to reach almost 220,000 prisoners living in 30 countries by the end of the year. Meanwhile, over the next 16 months, the two organisations have also announced they will co-develop materials for use by prisoners who have completed The Prisoner's Journey which are aimed at equipping and training them to become leaders within the church.

Jos Snoep, president and CEO of Bible League International, said that he was "very excited" to be partnering with Prison Fellowship International. "Together we are able to reach so many more prisoners by engaging them in the Word of God and see their lives transformed."

The two organisations, which operate in numerous countries around the world, first partnered together in 2014 when BLI donated 25,000 Prison Bibles to PFI's the then newly launched Prisoner's Journey. 

Frank Lofaro, CEO of Prison Fellowship International, said Bible League International had put "a lot of effort" into developing tools to help prisoners read and understand the Bible.

"Part of our mission is to get Bibles into the hands of every prisoner who comes through our course," he said. "For many prisoners, this is their first Bible. Bible League International was the first to believe in our vision, and they have the infrastructure to help make it a reality."

Mr Lofaro said PFI had found that when a prisoner is "transformed at a heart-level, his or her chances of thriving outside of prison dramatically increase".

"We're also finding it creates a positive shift in the prison culture," he said. "Prison officials are telling us there are fewer fights and a calmer atmosphere within their prisons after inmates go through the program. We believe this is an end-to-end solution to the problem of repeat offenders, and we're grateful for Bible League International's pivotal role in this effort."