CPMC is committed to collecting and sharing the best resources available that can assist those involved in the various ministries serving people affected by incarceration. On this page, you will find relevant articles from newspapers, journals, magazines, and websites. The next section below allows you to search for articles according to a specific category. 

We also encourage you to submit a resource that you find helpful and would like to share. Through the collaborative effort of sharing resources, we support and empower each other as well as those discerning a call to minister to persons affected by incarceration. 

Prison Ministry Articles

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Why we need the Holy Spirit’s gift of understanding

This article explains that the gift of understanding offered by the Holy Spirit asks Christians to implement this gift through thought and action. By sharing a story of ministering in a jail, the author reveals that such implementation requires attentive listening to both God and people. Through this listening, one…

‘I Won’t Hurt You’: Meeting Christ in a Padded Cell

How might one share the love of Christ and connect with a person whose crime and mental state suggest psychosis? Fr. Paul Morrissey shares how acknowledging the humanity in another through simple words of concern and a prayer can connect with the unreachable.  

How a Prison Play Goes on Tour

Thirty male prisoners from Sterling Correctional Facility in Colorado performed a production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” at nearby prisons in collaboration with the University of Denver’s Prison Arts Initiative. This article includes interviews with the inmate performers and speaks to the rehabilitative benefits of arts in corrections…

Life without parole is not a solution to crime pope says

This article summarizes key points from an audience that Pope Francis had with members of the Italian Prison Police in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Sept. 14, 2019. Included in the audience were two detainees serving life sentences. Pope Francis encouraged all detainees to remember and trust in God’s loving…

California bans private prison – including Ice detention centers

Assembly Bill 32 (AB-32) is expected to bring a major halt to the private prison industry in the state of California and will likely close down four ICE detention facilities. While the private prison industry in California has decreased during the last three years, this bill would phase out private…

I was in prison and you visited me

Fr. Paul Morrissey, OSA shares a heartfelt reflection about a visit with an inmate in a Philadelphia prison who is spending thirty-days in solitary confinement. The reflection weaves together his own questions and thought process during and after the visit along with a letter written by the man’s mother. Both…

Solitary Confinement: Inhumane, Ineffective, and Wasteful

The use of solitary confinement is widely considered ineffective and inhumane.  This informative report explains the different forms of solitary confinement and its harmful consequences for both inmates and the public.  It also illustrates the effects of solitary confinement on specific populations such as incarcerated youth, persons with disabilities, and…

Can Justice Demand Prison Abolition?

This article brings Catholic teaching into dialogue with the intentions and the effects of imprisonment in the U.S. In particular, the author reflects on the lack of true Christian mercy in the penal system and challenges the reader to consider the ways that the U.S. prison system is not set…

The Numbers Don’t Speak for Themselves: Racial Disparities and the Persistence of Inequality in the Criminal Justice System

This study contends and supports that “exposure to extreme (statistical) disparities can cause people to become more, not less, supportive of the very policies that create those disparities.”  In regard to the criminal justice system, the authors highlight how this holds true when persons are exposed to extreme disparities concerning…
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