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NCJ Number: 64070 Find in a Library
Title: RELIGIOUS REFORMERS WANT TO PROCLAIM LIBERTY TO THE CAPTIVES'
Journal: CORRECTIONS MAGAZINES  Volume:5  Issue:4  Dated:(DECEMBER 1979)  Pages:36-43
Author(s): P B TAFT
Corporate Author: Criminal Justice Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Criminal Justice Publications, Inc
New York, NY 10017
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: RELIGIOUS GROUPS ACROSS THE COUNTRY, FROM MAINLINE PROTESTANT CHURCHES, TO RADICAL ROMAN CATHOLIC GROUPS, TO FUNDAMENTALIST COMMUNITIES, ARE ACTIVELY CALLING FOR PRISON REFORM.
Abstract: RELIGIOUS ACTIVISM IS PARTLY CREDITED FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF PRISONS AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO CAPITAL AND CORPORAL PUNISHMENT. THE EXPOSURE OF ACTIVIST BELIEVERS TO PRISON CONDITIONS RESULTED FROM THE JAILING OF PACIFISTS WHO REFUSED TO DO MILITARY SERVICE. EVANGELICAL CLERGYMEN PRACTICED VISITATION IN PRISONS TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL THERE. THE QUAKERS WERE THE FIRST TO MOVE FROM VISITATION AND MINISTRY TO ACTIVISM WITH THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE. THIS COMMITTEE ORGANIZED A PRISONER SELF-HELP GROUP AT SAN QUENTIN IN 1955, AND LATER FOUNDED A COMMUNITY-BASED CENTER FOR PRISONER SUPPORT AND PRISON REFORM. FOLLOWING THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT AND URBAN RIOTS OF THE 1960'S, THE VIETNAM RESISTERS, AND FINALLY THE ATTICA RIOTS, AFFLUENT, WHITE, MIDDLE-CLASS CONGREGATIONS BECAME AWARE OF THE HORRORS BEHIND BARS. ALL THE DIFFERENT CHURCH GROUPS INVOLVED IN PRISON REFORM SHARE A COMMON OPPOSITION TO IMPRISONMENT. THEY RALLY FOR INCREASED USE OF PROBATION AND FINES, HOUSING OF ALL OFFENDERS IN SMALL, WELL-STAFFED RESIDENTIAL FACILITIES INSTEAD OF PRISONS, OR RELEASE OF PRISONERS INTO COMMUNITY FACILITIES. OFFICIAL PROTESTANT AND ROMAN CATHOLIC INVOLVEMENT RARELY GOES BEYOND PRONOUNCEMENTS, WHILE SMALLER DENOMINATIONS SUCH AS THE CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN AND THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST HAVE TASK GROUPS WORKING ON ACTIVE PROJECTS AND CAMPAIGNS. THE SOUTHERN COALITION ON JAILS AND PRISONS IS CURRENTLY THE MOST RADICAL GRASSROOTS PRISON REFORM MOVEMENT IN THE COUNTRY. ILLUSTRATIONS ARE INCLUDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Chaplains; Correctional reform; Decriminalization; Religion; Religious programs; Self-help programs
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64070

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