Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ideas For A New System of Reform - Part 1

When do you see the current system changing? As we increase prison terms and build more jails to incarcerate additional people, do you see crime declining?

How do things improve for you? For me? For our country? For victims? For criminals?

The answer:  

Change the Vision. 

  • 600,000 inmates are released from correctional facilities each year, but ⅔ are re-arrested within 3 years. Is this improvement? 

What were are doing now isn’t working.

So if something does not work effectively, why should we keep dumping resources of money and people into the current flawed design?

The answer: Fear.

We see a problem, people getting hurt by crime, and we know only one answer; Imprisonment.  

  • Crime & Media Consumption: inciting fear from an abundance of crime reports in media, to a plethora of crime shows on television drives a disparity of misconception between our own perceptions, and the reality in the world. 

Most offenders want a chance to change, but know not where to turn. And often the easiest path to take is the one we already know. We don’t change because change is hard, and we don’t know how to do it on our own.  

 

What about the news articles below: 

  • Faith Based Organizations and Federal Stimulus money expand jobs programs to give prisoners another chance, and thus reduce recidivism(repeat offenses).

  • Employers get special wage subsidies.

If you knew your church or business could do one thing to benefit these, would you?

New jobs help, and so does support. Can you offer either? 

  • When vision is combined with faith and commitment, amazing things happen! It weaves four essential elements into our daily lives: passion, motivation, direction and purpose. It is critical both for us individually, for our families, our country, and our church.  

"The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45). 

  • Service characterized Jesus' ministry from beginning to end. He healed the sick and fed the hungry. He comforted those who grieved. He put Himself last and served others first. His service attracted others because it was so countercultural. And Jesus' ultimate act of service entailed giving His own life as a sacrifice for our sins. 

Does your church struggle with an identity crisis? Maybe it is time to re-envision the church as we see it.

Does your life lack purpose? Maybe for one year you find a program where you can help others.

Your service is important. Someone “out-there” needs you to help, to care, and to show support.

  • Vision is life-giving. But where vision is lacking people perish.

  • Vision is powerful. It is the art of seeing things that are invisible and believing them into reality. 

What can you see today, that you were blind to yesterday?

How will you apply what you read today?

This month we encourage you to visit the website and explore opportunities at:

 

PSJ - Partnership For Safety & Justice

 

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