Solitary?

No, not the card game, but as in confinement for prisoners in the U.S..

If you didn’t know, I have long brought music and message to jails and prisons, more in recent years and have a lot more on the agenda.20150507_191444

I love my country deeply but do not think all our laws are humane nor all our approaches to justice truly just.

I fully disagree with so freely using terms like “justice” and “reform” much less words like “humane treatment” when we continue to be one of the few western nations to apply death penalty and solitary confinement laws to the largest incarceration rate among free nations.

While many of my Christian brothers and sisters fully disagree with abortion (I think only in rare cases should it be permitted), they seem to have a rather harsh view of anything other than “reap what you sow” when it comes to Jesus’ “love your enemies” and “do unto others as you would have them due unto you”… not to mention “forgive and you shall be forgiven” re. jail and prison inmates.

Yes, I can list several practical reasons people are placed in solitary -and plenty more why it’s barbaric and obscene we do it at all, certainly the way it is often applied.20150507_185157

I think all too many want prisoners to FEEL THE PAIN AND SUFFERING while yet praying for grace for themselves and their own loved ones. I believe we are talking retribution, not reform.

Does all this cost more in terms of money? Yes. Is there a “prison industry” in our land? Yes. Is there ever corruption among lawyers, judges, police, prison authorities AS WELL AS among prisoners? Certainly. I know and have know excellent, amazing people in these positions as well as godless and rather compassionless jerks in each as well.

Are all convicted felons innocent? Of course not! And what about the victims? Excellent question. We are all victims of several things: free will, lousy choices, horrid educational, job or neighborhood situations, corrupted friends, what the Bible calls “the fall”‘and “sin nature”, being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Shouldn’ț someone have to pay for their crime? I believe so, but this is where we may truly disagree. I have seen genuine remorse and redemption plenty. I have also seen people in authority self-corrupt to the extent you would never want them “in your corner” regarding the laws of the land, not in any part of it.

There are methods that in my view are far more humane and that bring needed change. There are also truly mentally ill people who are destroyed in our system and this is something too few voices are willing to sound off about. Consider being in solitary with a genuine condition like that. How about having another with such an illness, or perhaps both in that sort of lock-up and tell me again you want these filthy, crazy creatures to pay for X, Y or Z?

Did someone say “Christian America”?!! Please, let’s get serious about caring for ALL in the violent, struggling world in which we live.

I have not supported the death penalty for more than 30 years and though I believe some should be incarcerated for life, yes, some are that continually evil and a menace to society, I likewise believe solitary confinement little more than torture for most placed in it, certainly as it is in most prisons today. Put yourself in the place of these people -as well- as victims of violent crime. Christian: if we break one biblical law, we have broken them all… where did I read that?? “Mercy triumphs over judgment” must become more than a “get out of hell free” belief system in our theology.

You will say “But GLENN… THEY NEED JESUS” and of course I agree… so if they do not follow Him shall we torture them? Your ethics must match your theology or in my view, you are at best ignorant, at worst, hypocritical and I suggest, likely focused more on vengeance than justice.

So what is this old hippie-leftist-Chicago-drank the “bleeding-heart” koolaide dude saying?20150507_185150

I’m saying most reading this have never BEEN in a jail or prison, certainly have not been locked up, had to survive solitary confinement nor faced the hard points I have made so far. Most of us have done little-to-nothing to promote education of real-world incarceration in the U.S..

If you tell me God does all this, I tell you WE vote and appoint people who put up laws that directly affect the mass of prisoners and their families in the U.S.A..

Tonight I attended a meeting worth being at, one with several ex-felons who spent years in solitary confinement. There was lots of prison artwork and discussion. My songs will come later, but come they shall.20150507_18360120150507_191205

The bro. pictured spent one stretch of 12 full years in solitary confinement.

So please read, look at the pics here and consider -your- case for “law and order”. While you love hearing about grace and mercy, consider exactly how much you’re willing to extend it… please.20150507_191744

If you don’t include “prison reform” alongside “reforming prisoners” criminal activities, in my view, are likely to simply cycle if not grow worse.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

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One thought on “Solitary?

  1. Thank you for your thoughtful reflection. I’m glad Alan was able to bring this issue to the front for you and that you are able to further pass it along. God truly desires more than simply “visiting” the lesser among us when incarcerated. And remember, before they were called “prisons,” they were called “penitentiaries.” Blessings.

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