Jesus Christ Changes Prisoners' Lives PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. John E. Russell Sr   

Prisoners are protected by the United States Constitution:


[The first ten Amendments (Bill of Rights) were ratified effective December 15, 1791.]
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

So, why did Senator Harry Reid try to take away prisoners' rights to exercise their religion? He tried to violate prisoners' constitutional right by excluding them from the Senate version of the Religious Liberty Protection Act. Who would want to do such a violent thing? Why?

If ministries to prisoners are stopped, then the presentation of the most powerful Agent of Change will be withheld from prisoners. As a minister and retired Army Chaplain, I know that prisoners can be changed and rehabilitated. Jesus Christ is that most powerful Agent of Change.

Chuck Colson is an example par excellence. The good work that this man did is evident to all. How many prisoners have had their lives back because of his ministry? How many prisoners' families have a husband and dad back, and have been helped in many other ways?

My father-in-law, was ordained as a Baptist minister at age twenty-one. As a youth, he made a serious mistake (sin) of getting involved in an armed robbery. He went to prison for two years. Being arrested shocked him. Like the prodigal son, he "came to his senses," repented and became a model prisoner. The way back was hard—some did not forgive him. He and his wife began visiting and ministering to prisoners in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Iowa. They especially wanted to help young men to find Christ and get their lives straightened up. I lived with mom and dad for awhile and remember "Tom," a young man released from prison. Dad gave Tom a job and invited him to live in their home while Tom got his life together.

What happens when a prisoner is rehabilitated? Here are some of the positive results: (1) A life is saved. (2) Many times a family is restored. Children need both a father and mother. (3) The destructive effects of an unchanged, evil person on society are removed when the prisoner is released. (4) The more quickly a prisoner can be rehabilitated, the better. Some prisoners continue to sow destruction while in prison. New inmates are malconditioned into homosexual practice. Practicing male homosexuals have an average lifespan of 42 years versus the lifespan of a normal practicing heterosexual of 75 years. Some inmates are raped. AIDS and other STD are spread—form of murder. (5) Prisoners who are rehabilitated avoid the Prison Schools of Crime. More "talented," hardened criminals teach younger inmates how to commit crimes. (6) Murderers can be changed and lives saved. Prisoners murder other prisoners. I know of one inmate who killed six people. The last that I heard, his latest victim was a prison guard. (7) Taxpayers are spared the cost of maintaining a prisoner—it cost taxpayers $31,977.65 per inmate per year in a federal prison (2015). (8) Rehabilitated criminals become productive members of society. Instead of costing taxpayers, they are added to the taxpayer base. (9) They become positive guides of youth and a social asset to America.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, one Department of Corrections official said, "Personally, I'd cut down on these [religious volunteers] immensely. It's a drain. It cuts down on valuable staff time." Personally, he is dead wrong. This type of religious bigotry has no place in our prison system.

You may say, what does this all have to do with me? If lawmakers can suspend a constitutional right for any group, they can do it for your group!

Copyright © John E. Russell 1993, 2004, 2017

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Last Updated on Sunday, 21 May 2017 23:45