Skip to site content

Through the Door

The first public speech of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel, an adaptation of Isaiah 61:1-2, declares his calling to “proclaim freedom for the prisoners.” In one of his final public speeches in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus identifies himself with, among other groups, people in prison – “I was in prison and you came to visit me.” While […] Read More

“I know you wonder if all the conversions are real,” Joe said to our church council. He was right. The number of conversions reported by our prison minister (he was a part-time, contract minister) was amazing. “Even if one-tenth of them are real, this is worth it,” Joe declared. Legendary are the jailhouse conversions. Skeptics […] Read More

Incarceration is, by definition, a problem because its reason for being is a response to behavior outside the legal norms of a society. It is also an arena for many “problems within the problem” because of the challenges inherent in its application and management. Studies show the clear and well-known correlation of such factors as […] Read More

The number of persons with a severe mental illness (SMI) in U.S. jails is growing, requiring treatment services most jails are unprepared to offer, according to a report by The Pew Charitable Trusts released on Jan. 24. “Although the central purpose of jails is to detain people who engage in criminal behavior and pose a […] Read More

U.S. prisons saw an overall population decline in 2016, continuing a three-year trend in both federal and state facilities, according to a Bureau of Justice Statistics report released on Jan. 9. Overall, there were 21,200 fewer prisoners in 2016 than in 2015, a 1 percent decline. This is an imprisonment rate of 450 per 100,000 […] Read More

Efficient and effective integration of healthcare with other rehabilitative initiatives is essential to reducing recidivism, according a report from The Pew Charitable Trusts released on Oct. 18. “Emerging research suggests that underlying health issues, particularly substance use disorders and mental illness, contribute to incarceration and recidivism, and that treatment, combined with seamless care continuity for […] Read More

Every Wednesday night, like many churches, our church has a prayer meeting followed by a Bible study. Several months ago, on Epiphany Sunday, I preached a sermon on listening to the Spirit’s voice, and like the Magi from the east, following the signs that God places in our lives. The following Wednesday, a dear friend […] Read More

What is the mission of the Baptist Center for Ethics, better known as EthicsDaily.com, and how do we pursue that mission? Perhaps answering these two core questions ought to be an annual exercise. Reminding our constituency of our mission and how we do it helps avoid false expectations and unrealistic demands. It helps nurture clearer […] Read More

There is “little public safety rationale” behind the imprisonment of 39 percent (576,000) of U.S. inmates, according to a report by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. “Many of the laws and policies that increased time served are not based on evidence showing that longer stays behind bars enhanced […] Read More

Substance abuse is “a major public health challenge,” according to “The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health.” Substance abuse or misuse is “the use of alcohol or drugs in a manner, situation, amount or frequency that could cause harm to the user or to those around them.” Key findings in the report include: […] Read More