FAITH, RESTORATIVE JUSTICE AND PRISON FELLOWSHIP

Charles W. Colson will argue that, for those who have been sent to prison before, staying out requires maintaining one's faith and following a regimen that adheres, at least in some way, to spirituality. Once a person lands in prison, survival and potential freedom are grounded in the ability to maintain fellowship, in ways that may range from relations with family outside prison, to repentance shown a victim, to actions in everyday prison life.

Colson should know. He is the founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries (an organization that “seeks to solve the intractable issues of crime and violence in America through Christian understanding”). As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Prison Fellowship, it's almost a miracle itself that Chuck, aka the Hatchet Man, an aide to former President Richard Nixon, went from prestige to prison to prayer. In fact, at one time the media described Colson as “incapable of humanitarian thought.” Today, he is responsible for reaching out to prison inmates and is working toward reforming the U.S. penal system through his own support of such working concepts as restorative justice. He has authored many books offering his thoughts on how to bring faith into daily life.

Back in 1974, Colson was convicted of white-collar crime; and in his way he was as dangerous as any street criminal, due to his political power. He was found

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