The total number of inmates in state and federal prisons in the United States decreased by 1.7 percent in 2012, according to a new report issued by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. It is the third consecutive annual decrease, following three decades of growth.
Sandow Birk is an artist specializing in 19th Century landscapes, particularly of his native California. For a recent exhibition, however, Birk has turned his attention from bucolic vineyards and peaceful coastlines to a somewhat unexpected subject – the landscapes of the state’s prisons.
The following commentary originally appeared on the Colson Center for Christian Worldview’s Breakpoint website. For more more information about the work of the Colson Center, and how to subscribe to Eric Metaxas’ daily commentaries, visit www.breakpoint.org.
Improve the human race by eliminating the weak.
More than 12,000 prisoners in the California correctional system have entered into a hunger strike to protest solitary confinement practices in the state’s prisons. The hunger strike is the largest of its kind in California history, nearly doubling a similar hunger strike in 2011.
The following post originally appeared on Justice Fellowship’s weblog. To learn more about Justice Fellowship and its work to reform the criminal justice system, visit www.justicefellowship.org.
An investigation has revealed that California’s prisons have been routinely sterilizing female prisoners. The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) released a report that found that prison doctors have performed tubal ligations on nearly 150 female inmates from 2006 to 2010 without required state approvals.
One dark night in January, a cold drizzle enshrouds the California Institution for Women. But inside the education wing, one room overflows with light, life, and joy.
I am not sure what prevented me from committing suicide. I had traveled a long, lonely road. I let circumstances from my childhood and young adult life boil inside me, until I felt angry at the whole world. I had thought that if I helped everyone around me and did everything they asked of me, they would like me, and I would find the happiness I craved.
Many prisoners who have found new life through Christ express their deepest convictions through a paint brush. Yet their work largely goes unseen by the outside world – until the cellblock sketches fell into the hands of the prison ministry team at Shadow Mountain Community Church in California.
On November 3, Prison Fellowship’s Operation Starting Line (OSL), in cooperation with the Training Center in San Diego, offered prisoners at the Calipatria State Prison in California the chance to enjoy a time of entertainment in the prison yard. Skateboarding and bicycle exhibitions, musical performances, and arm wrestling competitions set the stage for the most important part of the afternoon—a presentation of the Gospel and testimonies from former inmates displaying the transformative power of the Holy Spirit.
Should there be exceptions to judgments for life without parole if the offender is a juvenile? In an op-ed piece in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Justice Fellowship President Pat Nolan and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich argue that such incarceration is unjust, is an unwise use of taxpayer funds, and fails to make society safer.