Legislative action may be slow, but a new consensus is emerging: massive incarceration is unsustainable, both morally and financially.
To Robert Ferguson, Calvinist roots lead European-Americans to see all punishments meted out to humans as righteous. Yet ultimate blame for our prisons is our own.
When I was a newly ordained pastor, I heard a speech by a federal judge. The judge said that he kept in contact with every person he sentenced to prison. His rationale was simple: he didn’t want his only impact on an individual to be the act of denying his or her freedom. Though as a pastor I visited hospitals almost daily, I had never been inside a jail. Within a few weeks of hearing that judge’s challenge, I made my first visit to the county jail.