Headlines from the New York Times for Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Turn Prisons Into Colleges (an editorial by Elizabeth Hinton)
Imagine if prisons looked like the grounds of universities. Instead of languishing in cells, incarcerated people sat in classrooms and learned about climate science or poetry — just like college students. Or even with them.
This would be a boon to prisoners across the country, a vast majority of whom do not have a high school diploma. And it could help shrink our prison population. While racial disparities in arrests and convictions are alarming, education level is a far stronger predictor of future incarceration than race.
The idea is rooted in history. In the 1920s, Howard Belding Gill, a criminologist and a Harvard alumnus, developed a college-like community at the Norfolk State Prison Colony in Massachusetts, where he was the superintendent. Prisoners wore normal clothing, participated in cooperative self-government with staff, and took academic courses with instructors from Emerson, Boston University and Harvard. They ran a newspaper, radio show and jazz orchestra, and they had access to an extensive library.
Norfolk had such a good reputation, Malcolm X asked to be transferred there from Charlestown State Prison in Boston so, as he wrote in his petition, he could use “the educational facilities that aren’t in these other institutions.” At Norfolk, “there are many things that I would like to learn that would be of use to me when I regain my freedom.” After Malcolm X’s request was granted, he joined the famous Norfolk Debate Society, through which inmates connected to students at Harvard and other universities.
The article continues in the New York Times on-line.
Readings from the Gospel of John for Wednesday, March 7, 2018
The good news of Jesus is this: “All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people” (John 1.3-4).
One of the saints of the Catholic church praised God for two gifts. He expressed praise and thanksgiving to God for giving him physical life. He also praised God for giving his only Son on the cross, so that he could experience everlasting life.
John declares that Jesus is the agent of creation, the life-giver, and the light of all people.
Prayers for Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Dear God, may our troubled world experience all that Jesus came to give us.