In a move being hailed as fundamental criminal justice reform by Catholic leaders, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that will end the long-term use of solitary confinement in prisons and jails.
The chairmen of two U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ committees welcomed recent executive actions by President Joe Biden to address racial equity in housing and the use of private prisons by the federal government.
As the world transitioned to shelter-in-place mode, and the word coronavirus entered into the lexicon of everyday life, one particular technological innovation became the epicenter of human connection: video and audio conferences. While churches, schools, and institutions reimagined and adapted to new forms of engaging their communities, for those in prison, the only way to speak with anyone from the outside has been through a screen.
In back-to-back homilies, Pope Francis prayed for prisoners and those facing unjust sentences – something Sister Helen Prejean has spent her life spotlighting, no more so than in light of the COVID-19 pandemic where the prison population is more vulnerable than ever.
Bishop William Wack believes the new film “Just Mercy” “puts a human face” on the crisis facing America’s prison population and believes it could be a tool for awakening Catholic consciences to the reform that’s needed.
The New York City Council on Oct. 17 passed a plan to close the detention centers on Rikers Island by 2026 and move inmates to four smaller jails in New York City