Faith & Criminal Justice

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Why should Christians care about drug policy? Just last week, our new Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle answered this question with a forthrightness I have rarely seen in any political leader. Holding up a copy of the book The New Jim Crow, Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness, President Preckwinkle stated that we as a society we are guilty of “institutional racism.”

Rockford, IL: The Rock Valley College Philosophy Department, as part of it’s open lecture series, has welcomed Sister Helen Prejean to speak about her work as a national advocate for the abolition of the death penalty. She is the author of Dead Man Walking: An Eye Witness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States, and has spent much of her life counseling death row inmates. The lecture will run from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. with a Q&A to follow.

I f there is one thing I have believed about being a United States citizen and living in this country, it is the basic premise that all of us are innocent until proven guilty.

If there is one thing I have believed about being a United States citizen and living in this country, it is the basic premise that all of us are innocent until proven guilty. I know that police and judges are human and make mistakes. But...

Illinois is just one signature away from becoming the 16th state without the death penalty. The General Assembly passed SB 3539 to repeal the death penalty on January 11, 2011. Now the legislation is awaiting final approval from Governor Quinn.

Commentary, Other Views
Chicago Sun-Times
December 3, 2010

A number of severely ill men and women who support the legalization of medical marijuana wept openly in the hallways of the state Capitol Tuesday when the SB 1381 did not pass the Illinois House. Their hopes for victory had been high.

They will have to wait a little bit longer. In chronic and often acute pain, with breaking the law the only path to relief, their wait is not easy.

Back in May, I wrote about a bill that could be considered “the bit of good news” to come out of an all-around dismal legislative session. Well, three months later, we have the final good news – Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law the Illinois Safe Children Act (HB6462), taking a major step towards protecting juveniles who get caught up in the cycle of prostitution and sex trafficking.

Chicago, IL: Join PCG staff, board, and members for the world premier of A Guide for the Perplexed, a play about a newly released convict and his experiences with re-entry into society. The play explores the characters’ mutual feelings of pain, guilt and fear which lead to a tenuous recovery, both hopeful and real. The event will be held at Victory Gardens, 2433 North Lincoln Avenue. The play begins at 7:30; a reception and pre-show discussion will be held (time TBD).

Let me tell a little about what happens to an ex-offender just released from prison in “A Guide for the Perplexed,” now showing at Victory Gardens Theater. While serving a four-year sentence, the protagonist, Doug, receives a body blow in the form of a letter: “Son, We are sorry you are in prison. Maybe it will help you. Although it makes us feel bad, you are not welcome here anymore. We wish you a good life, though. Mother.” Better yet, you can experience the story first-hand by attending PCG’s theater event next week.

More people in Chicago and its suburbs are admitted to hospital emergency rooms for heroin use than in any other major city, and heroin is now the most common illegal substance for which people in Illinois enter drug treatment, a new study shows. --Chicago Sun Times

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