Mass Incarceration

“It is not by harshness or by severity, or by overbearing methods, that social evils are removed.  It is by education rather than by formal commands, by persuasion rather than by threats.”  

– St. Augustine (Letter 22, 5)

What St. Augustine Says

Mass Incarceration impacts all of us.  Nearly half of all Americans have had a loved one incarcerated, yet two out of every three people who are released from prison will commit another crime.  The current system of mass incarceration in our country is largely retributive rather than restorative, and disproportionately impacts the poor and minorities.  This further perpetuates the systemic causes of crime including poverty, educational disparity, and racism.  At the core of the discussion is how to create a more restorative system of crime prevention. Saint Augustine lived in a time when racial and economic inequality, crime, and incarceration were seemingly as prevalent as they are in our day today.    Yet, he continually advocated for a system that restores rather than simply punishes.

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In the Words of Augustine

An Augustian Response

A more restorative response to crime

01

Learn More

Learn more about the issue of Mass Incarceration

02

Get Support

If you or someone you love has faced incarceration or have been a victim of crime,

03

Get Involved

From becoming a pen pal to visiting the imprisoned there are lots of ways to get involved.

Mass Incarceration Impacts All of Us

An Unfair System

Mass Incarceration disproportionately impacts the poor and minority populations of people

It is Ineffective

2 out of every 3 people released from prison will commit another crime.

Relation to Other Societal Issues

Systemic Poverty

Gun Violence

Mental Health

Youth

Hear the Voices of the Imprisoned

A selection of letters from the imprisoned and those who minister with them

Get Support / Get Involved

Relation to Other Societal Issues

Become a Pen Pal

Share God's love with someone experiencing isolation in jail/prison through the Mary, Mother of Captives prison ministry. You may be their only contact with the outside.

Fellowship/Faith Sharing (Philadelphia Only)

Join those impacted by Mass Incarceration, Prison Ministers, and others who care in weekly fellowship and faith sharing.

It is Ineffective

2 out of every 3 people released from prison will commit another crime.

Other Topics to Explore