Bars Chuck Colson, the founder of Prison Fellowship and Mark Earley, it’s current president outline, in a four part Break Point commentary series, a crisis that we are seeing in our criminal justice system and what the Church can do about it.

Colson paints a picture of the crisis that we now face:

Most systems are operating above safe capacity, despite the prison-building boom of the past two decades. Of the 2.3 million in prison, an estimated 700,000 will be released from prison this year unprepared for life on the outside. Two-thirds of them will be rearrested within the next three years.

In part one, “Admissions of Failure” Colson says that it is time to learn about a Christian response to our nation’s prison crisis.  Part two, “One in Ninety-Nine” with one in 99 American adults being in prison and with prison overcrowding, Earley asks, “What should we do with non-violent offenders?”

In part three, “Melting Hearts” Colson says that “crime cannot be boiled down to statistics.  At the receiving end of a crime is a flesh-and-blood victim.  Christians should be advocates for restorative justice.  Justice doesn’t stop with the police, court system and prisons, it is also a matter of the heart, as justice also means repairing the harm caused by a crime.  Ultimately what is needed to see change happen in the criminal justice system is transformation.  In part four, “The Heart of the Matter” Mark Earley discusses the work that government can not do.

Followers of Christ can not afford not to address this problem and respond to it in a meaningful way.  We should be the ones who bring hope to those who are imprisoned and their families.

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7 comments
  1. I always liked Colson’s compassion for the prisoner – which he recieved due to his experience with prison. I think he is raising great points and one’s that our countries need to be concerned with – specially if the statistic about all the re-offending is true – we might all end up victims of some crime in the near future.

  2. I always liked Colson’s compassion for the prisoner – which he recieved due to his experience with prison. I think he is raising great points and one’s that our countries need to be concerned with – specially if the statistic about all the re-offending is true – we might all end up victims of some crime in the near future.

  3. I always liked Colson’s compassion for the prisoner – which he recieved due to his experience with prison. I think he is raising great points and one’s that our countries need to be concerned with – specially if the statistic about all the re-offending is true – we might all end up victims of some crime in the near future.

  4. Yeah I think his statistic is spot on. Also, there is the alarming statistic about children of prisoners from the National Institute on Prisons which says that 70% of those kids will end up in the criminal or juvenile justice system. One of the reasons the ministry I work for provides mentors for those kids so we can hopefully see a break in that cycle.

  5. Yeah I think his statistic is spot on. Also, there is the alarming statistic about children of prisoners from the National Institute on Prisons which says that 70% of those kids will end up in the criminal or juvenile justice system. One of the reasons the ministry I work for provides mentors for those kids so we can hopefully see a break in that cycle.

  6. Yeah I think his statistic is spot on. Also, there is the alarming statistic about children of prisoners from the National Institute on Prisons which says that 70% of those kids will end up in the criminal or juvenile justice system. One of the reasons the ministry I work for provides mentors for those kids so we can hopefully see a break in that cycle.

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