St. Catherine of Alexandria church in Riverside participates in a Diocese of San Bernardino ministry that offers spiritual guidance to the incarcerated at more than two dozen jails, prisons and juvenile halls in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Such work is encouraged in the diocese that serves 1.6 million Catholics in the region. On Monday, its leader, Bishop Gerald Barnes, traveled to the Norco prison to say Mass for the Virgin of Guadalupe’s feast day.
Maisha and Lawrence (Torry) Winn are heading to UC Davis with a clear mission. They will be establishing the new School of Education Center for Restorative Justice on campus.
“I think the University has an opportunity to be a leader in transformative justice and education,” Ms. Winn says. “There is a culture and rich history of engaging in difficult conversations about differences among people, and looking at those differences as an asset, not a deficit.”
On Friday, December 2, the Diocese of San Bernardino marked the first anniversary of the attack at the Inland Regional Center with an Interfaith Prayer Service and a Memorial Mass. Family members of victims of the attack were present for both events. The Bishop also called for a one minute observance in silent prayer at 10:58am that morning, the exact hour of the San Bernardino shootings.
Dozens of prisoners staged a "flash mob" inside an Italian men’s prison to celebrate Pope Francis’ calls for prison reform and greater tolerance and acceptance of the world’s migrants.
Crux reports that a "flash mob" will be staged on Thursday, December 1, in an Italian prison. It will feature a zumba routine set to the tune of "Pope is Pop," and highlight Francis's vision on prison reform. It's been tough to win attention for Pope Francis's social justice priorities in the media. But the welfare and rehabilitation of the incarcerated has consistently been one of his top five concerns. Are Americans ready to listen?
Since Healing Hearts, Restoring Hope (HHRH) hosted its week-long training in Victim Offender Dialogue (VOD) earlier this year, the program has worked closely with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services to expand VOD in Southern California. VOD is a victim-initiated, face-to-face meeting between the victim or survivor of a serious or violent crime, including homicide, and the person who committed the crime.
Each week since 2012, Rev. Michael Quinn, who is a chaplain for the San Francisco Police Department, and Julio Escobar, who helped create the prayer efforts and outreach for the Restorative Ministry of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, have often stood alone on street corners and in alleys to pray for those who have lost their lives to violence. So far this year, they have prayed at every one of the 46 homicide scenes across San Francisco, oftentimes with little fanfare and no audience.
The California Budget & Policy Center has published a new report that analyzes combined state and county spending on incarceration and responding to crime. In 2014-15 (the most recent fiscal year for which figures are available), state and county spending in these areas totaled $20.7 billion, with nearly three-quarters of that amount ($15.1 billion) going toward incarceration.
The Third Annual Re-entry Conference and Resource Fair in San Francisco on October 1, 2016, drew over 30 exhibitors offering many post-incarceration resources. An estimated 250 people attended. "Our objective is to connect people with the support they need to come out of prison and stay out," said Julio Escobar, Director of Restorative Justice for the Archdiocese.
Last week, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law AB 2765 extending application deadline for Proposition 47 sentence reductions to 2022. Prop 47 reduces the penalty for low-level drug possession and five petty-theft related crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor. The misdemeanor category means people are freed from nearly 5,000 restrictions that come with a felony conviction in these areas. The restrictions have made it difficult for formerly incarcerated people to secure jobs, housing, student loans and other opportunities for economic security and family stability.