Evangelical Christianity lost one of its most eloquent and influential voices on Saturday, April 21, 2012 with the passing of Charles W. “Chuck” Colson. After a brief illness, Colson passed away at a Northern Virginia hospital with his wife and family at his bedside.
Colson journeyed from obstructing justice to justice reform — spending almost four decades as a champion for prison ministry, criminal justice reform and worldview teaching.
Justice Fellowship was founded by Colson in 1983 as an outgrowth of his ministry in prisons, Prison Fellowship. As he worked to help prisoners transform through the truth and power of Jesus Christ, Colson realized a second emphasis was also needed — to help transform the injustices within our criminal justice system.
Colson’s call for alternative punishments for non-violent offenders was often effective because Colson’s conservative credentials enabled him to line up conservative legislators in support of what had traditionally been seen as a liberal set of reforms.
Colson’s advocacy for prisoners’ rights took an additional form when he and Justice Fellowship were at the forefront lobbying legislators to support the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Religious Liberty Protection Act, and the Prison Rape Elimination Act.
Justice Fellowship is proud to carry on Chuck Colson’s legacy of fighting to reform the criminal justice system so victims are respected, offenders are transformed and reintegrated, and communities are safer.
Justice Fellowship President Pat Nolan posted on his Facebook page upon hearing of the passing of Mr. Colson:
“My dear friend and mentor Chuck Colson has just passed on to be with our Savior. Oh, how I will miss him. But I am very grateful for the last 15 years that I was able to work with one of the true pillars of the Church.”