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Terror in an Imagined Nightmare

This past week, a friend of mine was told he had a visitor at the prison to see him. He hadn’t been expecting a visit because he knew the loved ones that normally visited him were not able

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Building New Communities, One “Hello” at a Time

January 28, 2019, 2:41 am In the hallway where I live in prison, most of the cells are occupied by other prisoners who are also in the same college program I am in. A few others who are

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Listen Up! It Will Change Your Life

February 19, 2019, 1:22 am Lately, I’ve been digging a lot into the relevance of stories. I have interest because I desire that my story will have meaning, and that the stories of those I’ve harmed will also

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A Father’s day Hope Becomes a Birthday Promise

On June 24, 2001 I received my very first Father’s Day card. I wasn’t yet a father, but I was engaged to marry someone who had two children, so I was soon going to be a father. I

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Should We Seek Healing or Closure?

When someone has been victimized by crime, we often hear how important a trial and conviction are to provide closure for the victim, or the victim’s family if the victim died. This trite word, closure, treats what has

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For These I Toll the Bell

November 1st was All Saints Day, and for the first time since I’ve been in prison our Protestant service celebrated the holiday. During the service, a time was set aside for congregants to come forward and name the

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A Story of Extraordinary Strength and Grace

Practicing restorative justice is hard. When someone hurts us or harms us in any way, the natural human response is anger, and often revenge. It doesn’t surprise me to hear parents who have just lost a child to

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Will Corrections Officers Ever Support Rehabilitating Prisoners?

I can’t imagine; it must be easy being a corrections officer. I mean, the job itself looks pretty easy most of the time–lots of sitting around, making regular rounds, writing tickets from time to time–really glorified babysitting. But

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Prison–A Petri Dish of Prejudice

A year ago this week, hatred and bigotry made its mark on history in Charlottesville, Virginia. At a white nationalist rally, Heather Heyer was in the crowd decrying the vile rhetoric of the white nationalists and was murdered

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Where Does Justice Begin?

What is justice? This is a difficult, perhaps impossible, question for which there is no satisfying answer. For thousands of years, philosophers and theologians (and others) have been trying to define what justice is. Ancient Mesopotamian laws attempted

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How to Turn Hardship into Triumph

You’ve probably heard the cliche, “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Well, this saying is a cliche for a reason. The fact is that there are more than two possible outcomes when you face hardships in your

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Holidays in Prison Missing the Gift of Presence

A friend of mine outside of prison asked me how I feel about the holidays since coming to prison. It’s a good question, and one that I’ve addressed before on this blog. The fact is that the holidays

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Radical Reconcilation through a Radical Approach to Justice

Sometimes I wonder how practical restorative justice is to apply to the area of criminal justice. After all, most of the people I know who advocate for restorative justice have committed crimes. Of course, many of these people

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