Charles* is a prisoner who is serving a long sentence in a state prison. He attended weekly Bible study in the prison, not because he had any interest in God, but because the Bible study gave him some social time with outside folk who “spoke” his language—American Sign Language (ASL)—and it broke the boredom of his daily routine.
“Doesn’t the Bible say that murderers can’t go to heaven?”
That’s a question I was asked almost every week during my visits to the Cook County Jail in Chicago.
The inmate who started my weekly jail visits was a young deaf college student who, in a moment of rage, killed another deaf person at his school.
More than 750,000 people in our prison system have a disability, reports RespectAbility, a group that advocates for those with disabilities.
Of those, more than half a million have some sort of cognitive impairment; at least 250,000 have mobility issues; and 140,000 have some kind of vision loss.