We are concerned that incarceration too often attempts to tear down rather than restore, and that re-entry too often is devoid of the kind of support system that will help rebuild lives. For the sake of a civil and just society, we advocate systems of corrections and re-entry that will strive to be restoritive rather than punitive.

We are inspired by the witness of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who called us to “learn to live together as sisters and brothers, or die as fools”. We believe in the unity of God’s love across all divisions of race and creed. In the tradition of the Civil Rights Movement, we are committed to the practice of non-violent and redemptive love, for “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light
can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

We are ready to be part of the solution. We know all citizens share responsibility for the incarceration methods used in our country, and all benefit from successful re-entry. We want a system that strives for success: lower recidivism rates, not higher financial profits; creative means of preparation, not creative means of punishment; true corrections that build up, not tear down. So we have chosen to become shareholders in the prison industry by purchasing stock in Corrections Corporation of America, the largest private prison institution in the United States, which manages 60 facilities and more than 80,000 beds.

We will lift our voices on behalf of ourselves and others who have been deeply impacted by the privitization and industrialization of prisons. Once, we were ‘insiders’ of the prison system; now, we are ‘insiders’ of the primary institution that owns and operates those prisons. We will never forget our experiences of incarceration and re-entry, and we will never forget those who, like us, cry out for justice and the restoration of dignity and hope.