Category: Articles

Dec 12
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 is able to discern how […]

Oct 15
‘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.  

Oct 11
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 programs.

Sep 16
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 mercy and restorative power. Further, […]

Sep 12
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 prisons by 2028 and would […]

Aug 27
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 Fr. Morrissey’s and the mother’s […]

Jun 26
Cyntoia Brown and how the U.S. criminal justice system fails black women and girls

At the age of 16, Cyntonia Brown was charged as an adult and convicted of crimes including premeditated first-degree murder.  After spending fifteen years of a 51-year sentence in Tennessee prisons, she was granted clemency by former Governor of Tennessee Bill Haslam.  This article considers the interplay of multiple social issues at play in Ms. […]

Apr 04
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 sexual and gender nonconforming minorities.  […]

Mar 12
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 up to rehabilitate persons, but […]

Mar 02
The wisdom of ‘The Work’: self-discovery inside a prison’s walls

Catholic prison chaplains know well that their ministry is not restricted to inmates who identify as Catholic. Further, prison chapel programs that are not explicitly Catholic or even religious often play a critical role in the healing and growth process of inmates. This article looks at the story of the men’s support groups at New […]