Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bryan Stevenson on mass incarceration in the US

I recently noticed this piece tucked away in a corner of the CNN homepage: "Why are millions of Americans locked up?"

An article like this deserves more visibility. It's drawing attention to an issue that we'd rather not think about--or one we may not even know exists. And it's the right kind of provocative:
Why? How has a problem that affects one in 31 Americans (not to speak of their children, families, and communities) been ignored for so long? The answer is that mass incarceration impacts mostly the poor, the historically disfavored, the racial minority: those whose voices are rarely heard.

It's also a quick read; check it out.
In my experience, prison is not an issue Christians discuss nearly often enough. After all, we are called to "remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners" (Heb 13:3), and Jesus said some downright scary things about our care (or lack thereof) for those behind bars (Matt 25:31-46).
Why have we neglected this need so? And what can we do to live more faithfully in this regard, to love our neighbors in the prisons as ourselves?

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