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New life without parole

Ministry behind bars

Every time I walk into a prison I notice the same things—the relentless noise, the yelling, the clanging of door after door. I’m led into an interior world resembling something like a human maze. When I was a seminary student in Columbia, South Carolina, I did my summer unit of clinical pastoral education in an ancient prison (now torn down) that included a bizarre subterranean section for the “criminally insane.” Never had I been in such a dark, otherworldly place.


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