Who has been hurt? What are their needs? Whose obligations are they? These are the questions that restorative justice asks.
The epidemic of incarceration has reached an all time high, especially for people of color. According to Americanprogress.org, while people of color make up 30% of the United States population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned. The report says that the prison population grew by 700 percent from 1970 to 2005, a rate that is outpacing crime and population rates.
In the United States, the cost of incarcerating someone for a year ranges between $15,000 and $30,000.
Citizens are, therefore, paying billions of dollars for the support of systems that consistently engender a grossly dehumanizing experience characterized by the loss of freedom, the loss of contact with family and friends, the loss of self-determination, the loss of education, the loss of adequate medical care, and the loss of religious freedom and opportunities for spiritual growth.
Read more >> about why The United Methodist Church is called to speak prophetically and consistently against dehumanization in the criminal justice system, establish restorative justice as the theological ground for ministries, and intensify our redemptive ministries with those who work within criminal justice, victims of crime and their families, those who are incarcerated in jails and prisons and their families, and communities traumatized by crime.
Is your congregation interested in being a healing community by being a station of hope for persons affected by the criminal-justice system? Learn more >> from the Board of Church and Society.