In the very first month in his official capacity, Pope Francis made a landmark visit to a juvenile detention facility where he washed and kissed the feet of youth. During his upcoming visit to the U.S., he will be visiting a prison again, this time in Philadelphia. Right before that–on Sept. 24–he will give an address to Congress. Wouldn’t it be amazing if he preached restorative justice to our representatives and senators?
Many members of Congress have been pushing for reform of the criminal justice system, and the federal prison system in particular. For example, the Second Chance Reauthorization Act has been introduced; it would help continue funding of reentry programs for people returning home from prison. The House and Senate Judiciary chairmen have also indicated plans to introduce legislation addressing federal sentencing and prison programs. This growing momentum is exciting, but we’ve yet to see a comprehensive criminal justice bill pass through to President Obama’s desk. The pope’s address is a key opportunity for members of Congress to hear why they should act on criminal justice legislation that respects victims, transforms people with criminal records, and makes communities safer.
Will you urge the pope to include criminal justice reform in his address to Congress? Please click here to write and send a simple letter asking the pope to include criminal justice reform in his address and telling him why it matters to you, your family, and your community that Congress pass reform that supports restorative justice. If you submit your letter by Monday, Aug. 31 at midnight, I’ll make sure it’s delivered to the pope prior to his address.
Thanks so much!