On the 10th of this month I received a message from a dear friend in Florida. Her name is Roseanna. She is always optimistic and believes that there is good in every individual; even when it is not obvious, she looks for it. She had this to say, "I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me." As we know, this is a well known bible verse but she moves on to express her belief that the Lord will bless us.
Roseanna is an advocate in her own right, but longs to learn more and be more of a voice for those within our correctional facilities. She is destined to do big things. It is now 11:15 p.m. as I write this blog; I have just finished a live with James Jones of the Reinvention Center in Washington D.C. and his amazing panel.
My feelings as I write this blogpost are jumbled. So much of society is unaware of what is happening within our correctional facilities. Dare we call them correctional when many are denied their rights of citizenship? Many are denied medicinal needs; many are tortured via solitary confinement; many face physical abuse; many are incarcerated though they are innocent of the crimes they were convicted of; many have been found innocent after being subjected to execution. These incarcerated citizens are individuals, people.
Yet, the momentum of advocacy work is growing! More and more people are learning about what is happening within our correctional facilities regardless of whether they have been incarcerated or have loved ones who have been. I believe that if we continue to reach out to others and personally open ourselves up to our incarcerated brother and sister citizens, that we will find that we are not altogether different. I have done so and have found many amazing, artistic, well spoken, and brilliant brothers and sisters behind bars.
If we do not reach out; if we shield ourselves from the truth; if we deny that these citizens are worthy, we do nothing to make the world a better place.