Prison Fellowship, an evangelical organization for inmates founded by former aide to Richard M. Nixon and convicted Watergate conspirator Chuck Colson, is moving its national headquarters from McLean to a two-story office building at 10205 Colvin Run Rd. near Tysons Corner.
The move comes after the group failed in lengthy negotiations to purchase the Calvary Church of the Nazarene at 5900 Wilson Blvd. in Arlington. Colson's group met with opposition from church neighbors who objected to the organization's prisoner furlough program. Under the plan, furloughed inmates are given temporary prison releases to attend Christian "retreats," and the organization planned to transfer the program to its new headquarters in Arlington.
Furloughed inmates now are housed at Holy Name College in Northwest Washington and will not be moved to the new address in Tysons Corner because of lack of adequate facilities.
David Bovenizer, a spokesman for the Prison Fellowship, said the purchase of the $540,000 building in Tysons met with little or no opposition from the surrounding community.
"These will be strictly offices for about 35 empolyes," said Bovenizer. "The church in Arlington had two houses included in the purchase which would have provided suitable housing for the inmates. The thing people misunderstood was that the furlough program is conducted just six times a year for two weeks. Only 12 weeks out of the entire year would there have been prisoners present.
"We have been doing this now for several years without a single incident."