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Catching Stones | April 20, 2018
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“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’”

—Matthew 25:34-36, NIV

JESUS CHRIST, INCARCERATED

The Church and Criminal Justice Reform

According to Dominique DuBois Gilliard, director of racial reconciliation for the Evangelical Covenant Church, “The problems in the United States criminal justice system go all the way back to slavery.” In an interview with Religion News Service, Gilliard spoke about Christians’ role in criminal justice reform and why Christians should care about changing the system. Read his thoughts.

A PRESENCE IN PRISON ED

"We bring our presence"

Dr. Arlette Zinck, an associate professor and the Dean of Arts at The King’s University, Edmonton, Alta., recently received the prestigious 3M National Teaching Fellowship. Zinck has been involved in prison education for years; one of her earliest students was Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen who spent 10 years at the Guantanamo Bay military prison before being transferred to the Edmonton Institution. Learn more about Zinck, her work, and her award.

JUST RIDE

Ride for Reform

Together with some friends, John Schuurman, a CRC deacon at Immanuel CRC in Hamilton, Ont., is organizing Ride for Reform, an event calling for criminal justice reform in Ontario. On Aug. 10, participants will cycle from Hamilton to Toronto with a letter to Ontario’s premier requesting several specific corrections-policy changes. Read more about this initiative.

FELLOWSHIP OF THE ARTS

Art as Story

This PBS NewsHour video introducers viewers to seven formerly incarcerated artists who each received $20,000 to create criminal justice reform-related art through the Right to Return Fellowship. The artists hope to provide a catalyst for reform through their art pieces. Watch the video here.

BETTING ON PRISON ED

Making the Dean’s List in Prison

In the state of California, home to approximately 700,000 incarcerated people, prison education is lowering recidivism and increasing the likelihood of inmates eventually becoming productive, contributing members of society. According to a recent analysis, the odds of reoffending decrease by half for inmates who receive college education, while prisons with college courses also note reduced violence and safer environments. Learn more about this life-changing reform.

INDIGENOUS JUSTICE

Indigenous Court Opens in B.C.

A new Indigenous Court has opened in Prince George, B.C., the sixth in the province and the first in the north. Indigenous Courts work within the criminal justice system with offenders who have admitted their guilt. Judges, lawyers, community elders, and often victims work together to come up with a “healing plan” for the offender. Read more about this hopeful news.

CHRISTIAN ED IN PRISONS

Calvin Prison Initiative Event

On May 3, Dr. Todd Cioffi, professor of congregational and ministries studies and co-director of the Calvin Prison Initiative (CPI), will speak on the transformational work of the program and Christian education on the prison system. Presentations will be in Hamilton and Brampton, Ont. See registration details here.

PRISONERS IN CHRIST

“Speaking of Restorative Justice, What Shall We Do?”

Church of the Servant CRC’s Prisoners in Christ team is hosting a public meeting titled "Speaking of Restorative Justice, What Shall We Do?" on Sunday, Apr. 29, at Church of the Servant CRC, Grand Rapids, Mich. The three speakers will discuss restorative justice for juveniles, cash bail, and criminal justice legislative priorities. Find out more information.

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