Catching Stones | January 05, 2018
View this email in your browser

Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

—Hebrews 13:3, NIV


“I had to say, ‘Enough’”

“When did it become OK to lock up someone who is severely mentally ill and let the demons chase him around in the cell?” Rick Raemisch, the executive director of Colorado’s Department of Corrections, voluntarily spent 20 hours in solitary confinement in 2014 to experience firsthand what some inmates endure for decades. His experience and other discussions shaped new policy: Colorado ended the practice of long-term solitary confinement last September. Read Raemisch’s own words here.


“Their lack of compassion baffles me”

The Journal of Prisoners on Prisons is a Canadian initiative to give inmates a voice in the conversation around justice reform. The peer-reviewed journal examines the changes to Canada’s penal and criminal justice system over the last decade; all submissions are from past or current inmates — perspectives that the editors hold are critical to a better, more effective system. Learn more about the journal and the motivation behind it here.


Transformative Justice at Selkirk College

As part of Canada’s Restorative Justice Week last November, students taking a transformative justice class at Selkirk College had the opportunity to role-play a mock scenario involving fraud and then to work together to create a plan for restorative justice. The students described the role-play as “transformative” and the “highlight of the course.” Read more about their experience here.


“Prison as a last resort”

In this TEDx talk, Melanie Snyder—the Executive Director of Lancaster County’s Reentry Management Organization and a trained restorative justice mediator—sheds light on the U.S. criminal justice system and explores what “prison as a last resort” would look like for society. Watch this thought-provoking presentation here.



Everyday Incarceration is an Instagram account that collects and stores “images that tell the story of 40 years of mass incarceration.” The images, accompanied by short quotes and stories, feature past and present inmates, photojournalism projects, and rehabilitation efforts. Take a look here.


“It’s a pretty good feeling”

At the Silver State Industries ranch in Carson City, Nev., inmates sign up for “gentling”—of wild horses, that is. The ranch is part of the Northern Nevada Correctional Center; under the Wild Horse program, inmates spend their days working with wild horses until the mustangs are tame. At the end of four months, the ranch holds an adoption day for the public, during which the inmates show off their horses and equestrian skills. See how the inmates and horses are changing one another here.


Transform the System

Canada is currently reviewing its criminal justice system and is inviting input from the Canadian public. The government is offering multiple options for feedback, including online discussions, a “Choicebook,” Twitter townhalls, and email submissions. Click here to read more about the process and to participate. The consultation period closes on Jan. 15.


Locked in Solidarity

The Christian Community Development Association is calling for a week of action to raise awareness about mass incarceration in the U.S. Your community can plan or host its own event using the toolkit here.

The Network for Real Change is helping to bring an event to Calvin Theological Seminary: Beginning Saturday, Feb. 3, at 8 p.m. and ending at 1 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 4, there will be presentations, relationship-building experiences, refreshments, and midnight prayer and worship. Admission is $15 for individuals, with special rates for groups. Contact for more information.