The media, politicians, courts, and public opinion all promote more restrictive laws, trying to set up released prisoners for failure and re-entry into the prison system. What are they trying to prove by that? What are they afraid of? What are they trying to hide? "Public Safety," they say, mistakenly believing that people cannot change.
Public safety is best served by rooting out and dealing with the causes of crimes. Secular prison programs work only on the mind of the prisoner. These programs have a lower success rate because when life happens - hard times hit - the mind reverts so easily to its old thought patterns and the person may so easily recommit. Only when the HEART is changed is there a greatly reduced chance of recommitting.
This is where serious faith-based prison ministries come in. Because they work on the prisoner's heart, which the mind follows, the success rate of NOT recommitting is MUCH higher. Especially so when these ministries offer aftercare for when the offender is released.
I would ask prison chaplains to invite inside the media, politicians, and judges to visit with the ministries, see them in action, and see the results and success rate of the attending prisoners, and report what they see to the public. I'd like to see the media and politicians promote and support these serious faith-based prison ministries. Reporting on released prisoners succeeding in life outside would certainly give others hope.