“What does it mean for us to be a community of forgiveness in the context of the industrial prison system? Today, when it is a large for-profit industry, how do we show compassion to hundreds of thousands of persons who have been caught up in the criminal justice system and mass incarceration?”
This question and the reality that people of color and the poor are disproportionately caught up in the criminal justice system are at the heart of “A Resolution on Racism, Incarceration, and Restoration,” which was approved by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s 220th General Assembly (2012). The burden of incarceration does not begin and end with time spent in detention, but continues even after time has been served due to limited opportunities for health services, employment, education and housing. And the impact on families and communities reverberates for years. As an organization committed to advocating around issues of racism and ensuring wholeness for all people, we must respond faithfully to issues of mass incarceration.
• The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
• “A Resolution on Racism, Incarceration, and Restoration,” 220th GA (2012)
• “The Drug War, Mass Incarceration and Race,” Drug Policy Alliance, 2016
• “Resolution on Restorative Justice,” 214th GA (2002)