Showing posts with label Prison ministry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prison ministry. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New York State closes two minimum security prisons

From the NYCOM summary of legislation passed in New York State in 2010:

Prison Closures

Due to the declining prison population, the 2010-11 Budget authorizes the closure of two prisons in January 2011: Lyon Mountain minimum security in Clinton County and Butler minimum security in Wayne County.

(Chapter 56, effective January 2011)
The Brockport Unitarian Universalist Fellowship has a small prison ministry lead by David Markham who tries to keep abreast of criminal justice issues and the response by people of faith.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Quote of the day

"So it isn’t complicated to draw the line from that struggle to the struggle of the most oppressed group in America: the prisoner class.

The prisoners in this country, as you know, make up the largest prisoner group in the world. America confines more people than any single country at a higher rate and a higher—and the largest number.

Fifty percent of those prisoners, or nearly 50 percent of them, are black men.

And so, we have to ask the question, how did that come to be?

Either the black men are the only people—when we consider that we black people make up approximately 12 to 13 percent of the overall population and yet almost 50 percent of the prison population, we have to ask the question, is this the result of some genetic flaw in black people? Are we obviously some sort of criminally minded? Or is there something wrong in the scheme of things?

Obviously, the latter is what I would say. And so, I’ve committed myself to bringing people out of prison."

Elaine Brown, on Democracy Now!, 12/14/10

The Brockport Unitarian Univeralist Fellowship in Brockport, NY, has a small prison ministry. If your congregation has a prison ministry, please leave a comment or contact me off line at

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Prison Ministry in Western New York

I went to vist yesterday with Jim Smith and Jim Dillon at the Spiritus Christi Prison Ministry to see how we could work together. It was a most constructive meeting, and I will be visiting with them further and sitting in on their prison re-entry group at Orleans Correctional Facility when I get clearance from DOCs. When I get more information, I will be proposing to the Brockport Unitarian Universalist Fellowship that BUUF sponsor a prison ministry either in collaboration with Spiritus Christi or on its own or in some other coalition.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Prison ministry in our Unitarian Universalist tradition

Yesterday, I went to visit the prisoner whom I visit monthly as a result of a contact that was made at the Pullman Memorial Universalist Church by the prisoner's mother who lives out of state. She said she was a Unitarian Universalist and was looking for a UU to visit her son who was incarcerated for 6 years in Upstate New York would anyone visit him? I have been visiting now for about 4 years.

I am one of the people who started the Brockport Unitarian Univeralist Fellowship in Brockport, NY and I have brought the prison ministry with me to BUUF. For this man and myself we have built a relationship which is important to him in and of itself, and I wonder where, if anywhere, BUUF should continue with a prison ministry?

We have several State prisons within 50 miles of BUUF and incarcerating people, especially black people who are poor, is a major source of income for working class whites in our area who work as Correction Officers in these prisons.

I wonder about our faith as Unitarian Universalists and what it teaches us about how do deal with  the social injustice which our criminal justice politcies impose on poor, minority people in our society?

I will be studying this further and reporting on my work here. I am looking for help if you know anything about the topic please leave comments.
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