Saturday, March 19, 2005

Faith Based Programs and our Prisons

I know people who go ballistic when someone suggests Faith Based programs managing our Prisons. Paul Froehlich visited the now "faith-based" Angola State prison in Louisiana with with Sen. Rev. James Meeks, Sen. Peter Roskam, and former State Rep. Tom Johnson of the Prisoner Review Board and it looks as though they'll propose a trial for Illinois.

I volunteered for a year so every Tuesday evening at Cook County Jail with the The Safer Foundation in the late 1980s. Everyone ought to spend some time in a jail. Someone wants to get innovative about managing these places it's ok with me. Most of the volunteers I saw were people motivated by faith. They were about the only folks interested in inmates.

But I hope "Faith-Based" groups understand how to manage staff and know what to do when an abuse happens. Churches often aren't real good at managing their own sinners. They can save souls, but running an institution beyond them sometimes.

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