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Ini Michellei Alexander’si booki Thei Newi Jimi Crow:i Massi Incarcerationi ini thei Agei ofi
Colorblindness,i shei expoundsi oni thei heightenedi dilemmai ofi thei massi incarcerationi
amongi Africani Americansi whichi shei claimsi thei governmenti andi itsi criminali justicei
systemi perpetuatesi directlyi toi theiri community,i hence,i ai returni toi thei Jimi Crowi era.i i
“Sociologistsi havei frequentlyi observedi thati governmentsi usei punishmenti primarilyi
asi ai tooli ofi sociali control,i andi thusi thei extenti ori severityi ofi punishmenti isi ofteni
unrelatedi toi actuali crimei patterns.”[1]i i Thei risingi ratei ofi incarcerationi linkedi toi thei
drugi wari ini thei U.S.i isi higheri comparedi toi otheri countries.i i Sadly,i targetingi ai specifici
raciali groupi putsi themi ini ani inferiori position.i i Thei churchi cani respondi toi offendersi
withi kindness,i love,i andi mercy.i i Scripturally,i iti isi ai morali dutyi ofi Christiansi toi reachi
outi toi thisi groupi ofi peoplei whoi havei brokeni thei lawi andi committedi ai crimei (Mt.i
25:34-40;i Mk.i 2:17;i Heb.i 13:1-3).i i Ini thei casei ofi minori drugi offensesi withi noi violenti
charges,i possiblei alternativesi toi jaili timei couldi bei toi helpi thei personi withi
rehabilitation.i i Thisi couldi veryi welli helpi preventi morei egregiousi crimesi fromi
happeningi suchi asi drugi trafficking,i humani trafficking,i etc.i
First,i thei churchi shouldi continuei teaching,i mentoring,i andi disciplingi toi leadi othersi ini
Christlikeness.i i Thei Holyi Spiriti cani usei God’si wordi toi renewi people’si mindsi andi
changei theiri thinkingi (Rom.i 12:1-2).i i Reversali andi rejectioni ofi immorali customsi isi
possiblei wheni ai lifei hasi beeni regeneratedi andi transformedi throughi ai personali
relationshipi withi Jesusi Christ.i i Offendersi needi toi knowi theyi arei valuedi byi Godi andi
playi ani integrali rolei ini theiri familyi structure.i i McQuilkini andi Copani say,i “thei
breakdowni ofi thei familyi isi thei leadingi negativei environmentali influence.”[2]i i Second,i
thei churchi cani assisti offendersi byi wayi ofi restitution.i i Thisi putsi themi ini ai positioni ofi
ownership,i responsibility,i andi accountabilityi whereini theyi realizei thati thei reali victimsi
arei thosei whoi havei beeni directlyi andi indirectlyi affected:i theiri familiesi andi
community.i
Promotingi ‘restorativei justice’i saysi thati “afteri ai crimei hasi occurred,i thei ultimatei goali
isi reconciliationi andi restoration”i betweeni offenderi andi victimi (theiri familyi andi
community).[3]i i Withi eachi illiciti drugi usei ori exchange,i iti denigratesi thei community.i i
McQuilkini andi Copani add,i Whilei overi 95i percenti ofi presenti Americani inmatesi willi bei
returnedi toi society,i aroundi two-thirdsi ofi themi willi commiti furtheri crime.”[4]i i So,i
insteadi ofi devastatingi theiri communityi withi morei crime,i theyi cani partneri withi ai
churchi ministryi toi helpi buildi upi theiri community.i i Somei ideasi ofi communityi servicei
includei paintingi overi graffiti,i preparingi murali wallsi fori artists,i regularlyi visitingi andi
mentoringi prisoners,i ministeringi toi prisoners’i familiesi byi donatingi meals,i adoptingi
thei blocki whereini thei offenderi lives,i andi hostingi ai drug-freei campaigni teachingi thei
dangersi ofi drugi usei (e.g.,i addiction,i infection,i poori judgmenti andi decision-making,i
etc.)i andi thei dutyi ofi eachi citizen.i i Perhapsi doingi thisi alternativei worki outsidei ofi ani
ironi cagei willi helpi offendersi seei theiri God-giveni purposei andi destinyi toi bei familyi andi
communityi buildersi asi iti alsoi servesi asi ai deterrenti fori unwantedi repercussions.i i
(Wordi count:i 585)i i i i
i
[1]i Michellei Alexander,i Thei Newi Jimi Crow:i Massi Incarcerationi ini thei Agei ofi
Colorblindnessi (Newi York:i Thei Newi Press,i 2012):i 7,i https://ebookcentral-proquest-
com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/lib/liberty/detail.action?docID=829777i (Accessedi Junei 23,i
2021).i i
[2]i Robertsoni McQuilkini andi Pauli Copan,i Ani Introductioni toi Biblicali Ethics:i Walkingi ini
thei Wayi ofi Wisdom,i 3
rd
i ed.i (Downersi Grove:i InterVarsityi Press,i 2014):i 431.
[3]i Morgani Lee,i "Doingi thei Crimei Withouti Doingi thei Time:i Whyi thei Churchi Shouldi
Welcomei Alternativesi toi Massi Incarceration,"i Christianityi Todayi (Marchi 2018):i 66,i
https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A530403156/BIC?u=vic_liberty&sid=summon&xid=3
3b5452ei (Accessedi Junei 22,i 2021).
[4]i McQuilkini andi Copan,i Ani Introductioni toi Biblicali Ethics,i 433.
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