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Michael Santos continues his long road of redemption. Santos is a former student and friend of mine whose personal journey I’ve described on in two previous columns. The first, written as he was beginning the last of his 26 years of confinement in federal prison, portrayed the beginning of his liberation over 20 years […] Read More

Her name is Mickey and she found me on Tuesday of last week, timid and uncertain. If you look up the definition of “mousy” in the dictionary, the entry should have her picture next to it. She is petite and naive looking. Though 26 years old, she looks 18 or 19. But spend some time […] Read More

The sound of clanging jail or prison doors is jarring for me. I am slightly claustrophobic, and the rare occasions when I have gone behind bars were challenging. I was there to do a handbell program with the choir I was directing. Even though I knew that at the end of an hour or so […] Read More

Jailhouse Religion

A sermon by David Hughes, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Winston Salem, N.C. Acts 5:12-32 About six years ago, I participated in a crusade in the Forsyth County prison system. My assignment was to preach in a prison block in the downtown Forsyth Detention Center. I remember the occasion well because when I offered an invitation […] Read More

The criminal justice chapter of my life, now well into its sixth year, stretches out into a long dark tunnel. The more you learn, the fewer solutions you have to address the social degradation that follows the warehousing of disposable citizens of these United States. In a recent trip to the Palestine Territory, I opted […] Read More

Multiple studies reveal that our current U.S. legal system negatively impacts communities of color. A disproportionate number of people of color face both prison time and capital punishment. According to a 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Justice, 67.8 percent of the 2010 prison population was non-white. That people of color unduly fill our […] Read More

A Baptist minister appeared on “Songs of Praise,” a long-running religious program on British television, recently as churches across the United Kingdom were encouraged to focus on everything related to prisons. Rev. Bob Wilson is the Free Churches Group (FCG) secretary for prison chaplaincy – he’s the first Baptist to serve in the role – […] Read More

Robert Parham recently interviewed former president Jimmy Carter on Christians’ moral responsibility regarding just treatment of prisoners. Carter lamented that Christians are often more focused on retribution than on soul care of inmates. Carter said that Christians can “reduce the [focus on] punishment and emphasize the rehabilitation and forgiveness and love that we need to […] Read More

If all goes according to schedule today, Michael Santos will walk out of a federal prison in California after serving more than 25 years of a 45-year sentence for distributing and selling cocaine. A column a year ago outlined the remarkable story of his inordinately long sentence and his resolute commitment to serve his time […] Read More

A man with a fake wig and beard walked into the CVS Pharmacy at Stone Street in Augusta, Maine, on May 8, handed the pharmacist a note and walked out with 2,154 30mg Oxycodone pills. The street value is $75,000. He had two options: Make a few cell calls and lay off the pills a […] Read More