Faith In Action: Promoting Dignity Behind Bars

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The Church of the Larger Fellowship is an online community of Unitarian Universalists that offers many important programs, including one in prison ministry in which individuals and families can exchange confidential (only first names are used) letters with people currently in prison in the United States. Some of the feedback from prisoners involved in the program includes: "I can't believe I found a church that will let me believe what I already believe, and still help me explore and deepen my personal spirituality." "Oh, how I wish I'd found y'all sooner! When I think about how my life might be so different today... "

The statistics of the current United States prison population are staggering. More than 2 million people are in prison, which is more than any country has ever had in prison at one time in the history of recorded civilization. The fact that most inmates are people of color and/or people living in poverty only legitimizes the claim that our "justice system" is tragically flawed by the injustices of racism and classism. Discuss with your parents the possibilities of participating in the prison ministry program as a family.

Another possibility is partnering with Books to Prisoners, an organization that collects books and fulfills orders from letters they receive from inmates. Many people incarcerated in our prison system are working to obtain their GED or improve their English skills. Others simply enjoy literature and appreciate good books. Consider donating books to this organization or volunteering to fulfill orders if you live near a local branch.

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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