Crime and Prisoners
Seek the Truth with all your heart.
The treatment of perpetrators of crime, by punishment needs to be reconsidered. Not-withstanding that every choice and ensuing action has a consequence, crime perpetrators have a mental aberration which is a departure from that which is lead by God’s love. Such condition is a form of sickness which needs special treatment, maybe during imprisonment, but not just imprisonment alone as a punishment without any therapeutic treatment, followed by release back into a non-therapeutic world, maybe with greater animosity and more ideas and more criminal knowledge, nowhere to go, without any sense of belonging or being wanted or loved.
The very therapy they need is to know that God loves them and has a purpose for them.
We do not punish people who have other forms of sickness, just because they are sick; instead they receive suitable treatment to get well.
I have friendship with a man who has been in jail several times, including a jail which is now closed, which practiced severe discipline to break the spirit of strongly rebellious prisoners. He is now a committed GOD loving, people loving, very considerate Christian. His turn-around and radical change was sparked after reading a book in jail about the life of Dr. Albert Schweitzer. He was so impressed and affected by the story of this man, who, having several degrees and a wealthy comfortable background, went to Africa to live in appalling conditions to help those who were in dire need, He immediately said to himself “I want the qualities which that man had, that led him to do what he did.”
He felt that he would never have the chance to be like that and that he was destined to spending his life being sent to jail. He intended to commit suicide, and on the night he was going to do so, he saw a book in his cell that he had not read, it was titled ‘Life is Worth Living’ and he told me that if he had noticed that the author’s name was Bishop Fulton Sheen, he would have thrown it into the corner as being just another religious book; but GOD must have blinded him to it, so he started reading it and kept doing so all night until he had finished it, (even lighting matches to see it after lights out) by which time he had been completely changed and felt incredible love for everyone, and felt like hugging the ‘screw’ (prison guard) who he thought would think he had gone mad. He proceeded to become an evangelist speaking in every state school in South Australia and also appearing on TV.
This is wonderful evidence that inside everyone there is a hunger for truth and meaning; it just takes the right circumstances to enable them to awake to the answer.
His observations about jail were that most prisoners are just confused and disillusioned about life in this world, and have not been able to navigate their way to healthy normality.
His relationship with GOD transformed his values, principles and priorities, as well as adding a whole new awareness of the dimension of eternity.