One year after an unprecedented inmate hunger strike to protest inhumane use of solitary confinement, faith-based leaders met this week with California prison officials to urge faster action.
Bishop Richard Garcia of Monterey, Chairman of the Restorative Justice Committee of the California Catholic Conference, issued the following statement regarding the release of the California State Auditor's Report on the sterilization of female inmates in California without their consent:
“A bit of mercy,” says Pope Francis, “makes the world less cold and more just.”
Two of the bills delegates will discuss with legislators during the upcoming Catholic Advocacy Day involve some common sense, “merciful” adjustments to county jail procedures.
Catholic dioceses in California are offering special prayers and Masses in observation of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, an annual event established in 1981 to draw attention to the people and families whose lives have been affected by violent crime.
Pope Francis said “With the Cross, Jesus unites himself to the silence of the victims of violence, those who can no longer cry out, especially the innocent and the defenseless; with the Cross, he is united to families in trouble, and those who mourn the tragic loss of their children.”
The Restorative Justice offices of nine California dioceses will share a 2-year, $1 million grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) to bring healing and empowerment to communities dangerously impacted by poverty and violence and to strengthen and promote Restorative Justice throughout the state of California.
“If crime is a wound, justice should be healing.” - Howard Zehr
Crime tears at the fabric of all communities, particularly in neighborhoods that are struggling economically. Restorative justice activities bring people together and empower them to work for safety, services and programs that heal.