Robert* was going home—if he could figure out how. An ex-prisoner who encountered Christ behind bars, he felt led upon release to start somewhere new. He sold his possessions, scrounged up $500, and set off in a donated van with no fixed destination.
For more than 14 years, Prison Fellowship’s reform arm, Justice Fellowship, has worked to make sentences for drug crimes fairer. We have been part of a large number of groups working to narrow the disparity in sentences between crack and powder cocaine.
In an important victory for justice, President Obama today signed the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, putting an end to the 100-to-1 disparity between punishments for crack cocaine and powder cocaine.
The passage of the bill was a pivotal point in the fight to correct imbalances in our sentencing laws.
Virginia spends too much money locking up nonviolent offenders and not enough on programs to help criminals transition into life after prison, Department of Corrections director Gene Johnson said Tuesday.
Speaking at a statewide conference on prisoner re-entry, Johnson said the state should stop doling out lengthy prison sentences to nonviolent criminals and those with drug convictions and instead focus on locking away violent criminals—and then helping them successfully re-enter society when their prison sentence is over.
Debbie Walsh cannot remember the first time she met volunteer Robert Ramos. But that, she says, merely demonstrates his soft-spoken, unassuming demeanor. When this former prisoner shared his testimony during Operation Starting Line (OSL) in-prison evangelistic events, “men and women listened intently,” says OSL organizer Debbie, “for his story was told in a straightforward, unembellished way.”
Have you been looking for a way to gently ease your church into prison ministry? A way to involve others who might not yet be ready to volunteer inside a prison or work directly with released prisoners?
A way to give others just a taste of reaching out to prisoners that may whet their appetite for more?
Tony Davis never thought he would appear on a panel about employing ex-offenders at an Out4Life Reentry Summit for coalition members, but he’s well-qualified.
On most days Tony, 32, works outdoors with his five-man auto maintenance crew in the sweltering heat of Sulphur, Louisiana.
Shipyard training manager Sterling Dolese was skeptical about taking part in a work-release program from a local correctional institution. The results have exceeded all expectations.
From the shipyard at Avondale, just outside of New Orleans, ring the steel-on-steel sounds of progress.
Joan Fabian has served in county and state corrections for 45 years, the last seven as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Corrections. In May the Minnesota DOC joined with Prison Fellowship in co-sponsoring an Out4Life Conference in Minneapolis as a springboard to establishing coalitions throughout the state to assist prisoners returning to their communities.
The House of Representatives may have an opportunity to address the unfairness of the current 100-to-1 disparity between crack- and powder-cocaine sentencing. I hope the House joins the Senate in passing S. 1789, which would dramatically reduce the disparity in punishments between crack- and powder-cocaine offenses.