"Then the King will say to those on his right. ... For I was...in prison and you visited me."
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you ... in prison and go to visit you?’ Matthew 25:37-39
“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40
Jesus is intimate with his family. He is specific about visiting prisoners. We are called to embody Jesus’ heart and show forth his compassion to prisoners.
It is a very practical ministry of - Incarnation – love made visible in the flesh. Being there. Ours are a new set of ears listening to immensely consequential stories which have worn thin in the retelling to familiar cell and pod mates. Ours are new conversations and new perspectives.
- Seven million citizens are active in the US criminal justice system.
- 2.2 million US sisters and brothers are incarcerated.
- 1 in every 100 men, 1 in every 1700 women resides in a state or federal facility.
- The US incarcerates more of its own citizens than any other country in the world.
- One of the fastest growing industry in the United States is the private for-profit prison industry.