If this pandemic is showing us anything, it is showing us that health is worth more than any other thing.

Our community’s places of incarceration are putting our lives and health at risk because they force people into close, dangerous quarters. Hundreds and even thousands of incarcerated people could be released. And they must be released to save more lives. It is not only the lives and health of people being held in these facilities that are in danger, it is the lives and health of employees and all of the employees’ families. All of us in the entire society are in danger when not enough people are being released from crowded facilities — because the virus grows there.

There are alternatives to incarceration and now is the time to explore and to use those alternatives, to protect the lives and the health of us all.

Kathleen Temple Rockingham

(24) comments

DANT

Kathleen is two bubbles off level...period!

newshound

Her idea is maybe four bubbles or more to the left of course.

bishopsboy

i agree with Kathleen; incarceration is not the answer. We should be publicly hanging child molesters, rapists, and murderers in Court Square immediately following their trials - no endless appeals, no need for incarceration, one trip to the dump to feed the buzzards.

Harvey Yoder

The Bible, a cover to cover story of redemption if there ever was one, would be a lot shorter if they had just hung Moses after he killed an Egyptian, David after he raped a woman and conspired to have her husband killed, and Paul for being complicit in Stephen's death and for engaging in a terrorist campaign against Christians.

bishopsboy

Dear Mr. Yoder, greetings and thank you for your thought-provoking rebuff. I was worried about you since you have not posted much lately, hoping you to find yourself in good health and COVID-19 free. It is indeed a pleasurable experience to debate with you once again in this public forum. So back to the subject at hand, I thought you left-wingers would love this solution since it addresses every issue you care about: It eliminates discomfort inmates experience in prison with no air conditioning. It does away with keeping fees and the associated financial burdens on the inmate’s family. It ends geriatric healthcare issues for the incarcerated. Recidivism rates go to zero! And best of all, it is green and sustainable – only gravity, no fossil fuels used; smaller population reducing stress on the environment and increased food supply and habitat for wildlife. (Socialists do not really care about all that religious mumbo-jumbo rabbit hole stuff anyway, right?) As always, peace and blessings to you.

Harvey Yoder

Dear BB/PS, Thanks for your interesting mix of sarcasm and sincere concern ;-). But I know you wouldn't have recommended this kind of harsh response on the part of the father whose prodigal son had wasted his inheritance and engaged in all kinds of evil behavior. The bishop-like father, as you know, recognized his son's contrition and his commitment to completely turning his life around, and embraced him rather than punished him, based on his son's obvious willingness to repent and make full restitution. To me, that's the fundamental truth of the entire Bible, in my humble opinion, that every saint is a former sinner, and every sinner a potential saint.

bishopsboy

Dear Mr. Yoder, I am glad you enjoyed my sarcastic humor. As your fellow brother in Christ, I’d love for all violent criminals to be redeemed but with 79% recidivism within 9 years of release based on a 2018 U.S. DOJ study, I’m afraid that just isn’t going to happen for most of them. As rational responsible citizens and loving caring Christians, we really have only 2 options: Segregate the rapists, murderers, and child molesters from the rest of society or kill them. Pick your poison but releasing violent felons back into the community is not and never should be an option in a just and righteous society that believes in protecting the innocent from evil. I am certain the Bishop and Prince Prodigal's father would agree with my assessment.

prodigalson

I must agree with my good friend, and brother in Christ, Bishopsboy. I, too, believe in redemption, grace, and mercy, and I believe that people can change as evidenced by the examples that you list from The Bible. But not everyone is willing to change; not everyone is willing to repent. We must, as a responsible society, decide what to do with these folks.

I also find it interesting, Mr. Yoder, that your letters and posts are never steeped in the same passion for the protection of innocent victims as they are with the passion to protect violent criminals. You are even against outlawing the most violent crime of all: the cold blooded murder of little babies who are still inside their mothers' wombs.

In summary, Mr. Yoder, your positions are wholly inconsistent, and your Christian witness is dimmed as a result.

DANT

I wonder who wrote the bible?

bishopsboy

Moses, David, and Paul wrote a lot of it.

Donald

I am not sure, Mr. Yoder, that picking the person responsible for what is referred to as Mosaic Law is a good example of redemptive or leniency attributes. It pretty much says that if A commits B and the punishment is C then C is carried out. I am sure there were many folks who failed to get with Mr. Moses’ program who would have preferred that he had been hanged for killing the Egyptian, as well as a list of Schlemielites who got in his way when taking possession of Canaan. And, let’s face it Moses basically became a hit man for Mr. Yahweh who definitely had anger management issues – but kudos to Mr. Moses for his ability to talk Mr. Yahweh down when he went seriously rogue.

I would also think that the prodigal son was guilty of nothing more than squandering his inheritance in “riotous” living. This being the case, he would not have done direct harm to or engaged in criminal activity against another individual. At best he could have been generally cited with ‘sinning’ against God. So, the story of this fellow would be somewhat of a false analogy regarding current demands for the release of convicts who by the very nature of today’s incarceration parameters engaged in criminal acts against others.

Harvey Yoder

You make some good points about Moses, though its interesting that stoning, the capital punishment to be used for a variety of crimes, was in fact very rarely actually carried out, for whatever reason. The only reason I used the prodigal son story was to respond to my friend(s?) bishopsboy/prodigalson concerning an example of extreme mercy being shown to a repentant offender by a God-like father, not to infer that the son had been guilty of a capital crime.

Programmer

Mr. Yoder,

I agree the Bible shows the path to forgiveness through personal repentance of confessing ones own sins through Jesus Christ only.

Moses fled Egypt after killing the Egyptian so it would seem he would have suffered the Egyptian punishment for his crime if they had caught him don't you think?

David committed several sins, but I think you are stretching the truth on him committing rape. Unless you a referring to another woman than Bathsheba, whose husband Uriah the Hittite that David had killed, Nathan the prophet said David committed adultery.

No law enforcement was after Saul for what he did, it may be that his actions were sanctioned by the Romans but certainly he was doing the will of the priests and persecuting those of the way. It took Jesus to confront him and change him so that he repented and became Paul.

You do have a point that we should be merciful to the incarcerated but if we release them and they commit more crimes then a harsher punishment would be justice.

prodigalson

Great post Programmer.

Programmer

Thank you Prodigal. You and Bishopsboy are right on in your comments referencing violent offenders.

Donald,

Seems to me that the LORD God Most High is very reasonable if Moses can change his mind and that He doesn't have an anger issue as much as people have a sinning issue. For a Righteous God, He seems to tolerate evil more than He should. The Bible says He is patient with us, not wanting anyone to perish. I think we bring the wrath on ourselves.

bishopsboy

Thank you, Programmer. You’re a better Christian than me so I consider that a high compliment.

Programmer

Bishopsboy, brother, i am still a sinner, only by the grace of God have I repented and am able to be forgiven because of what Jesus has done for us all.

Mr. Yoder, will you defend your statement in declaring David a rapist? The Lord said David was a man after his own heart. That doesn't sound like a rapist to me.

Donald

Based on your premise, Mr. Programmer, you certainly suggest a valid perception to be considered. Thank you.

LVW

After reading Bb's heartless reply, Jesus wept.

bishopsboy

LVW, heartless toward whom? Heartless toward the innocent little girl molested by a pervert set free? Heartless toward a young college woman with a bright future about to be assaulted by a serial rapist? Or maybe heartless toward the hard work working father murdered by a released criminal? How do you measure heartlessness?

prodigalson

Great response Bishop! I'm guessing LVW had to go back to his crying room and put on his mask after the thumping you just gave him.

bishopsboy

Prince Prodigal, my royal brother, maybe LVW fell down that religious-nut rabbit hole! [smile]

billnonymous

We need to release the murderers, child molesters and rapists so we can make room in jails for the moms who dared take their kids to a public park, the worshippers who dared attend a religious ceremony, and the business owners who dared to make a living to feed their family. To the liberals, *those* people are the real criminals and they want them jailed for having the nerve to live free. I wonder if Kathleen would be so kind as to host a rapist or murderer in her home because prison is just too dangerous of a place for them.

prodigalson

No Kathleen, releasing dangerous criminals onto our streets definitely will not make our society safer. And please, stop trying to use The Chinese Flu as an excuse to enact your left wing wish list. Your request has nothing to do with public safety, and has everything to do with politics.

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