A little while ago I used a Michigan case about videoconference sentencing to explore the theology of the body of the defendant. Here Mississippi attempted–and then retracted–some wrongheaded theology of the family of the incarcerated:
Family and friends of Mississippi state prisoners were surprised and alarmed by a new policy announced Wednesday that bans all but immediate family members from visiting. According to a memo posted in state facilities, “this excludes ALL friends, pastors girlfriends, fiancés, cousins, nephews, nieces aunts uncles, in-laws and anyone else.”
UPDATE:The Mississippi Department of Corrections has postponed the policy change after drawing rebuke from family members and advocates, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported Tuesday. The new rule, which would limit visits to only immediate family members, was supposed to begin Sept. 1 but was then delayed until Sept. 10. It is now postponed indefinitely.
For this theatrical performance, there are no props. No costumes. No elaborately adorned stage. There are only voices. Voices that tell powerful stories and that evoke the raw emotion that can only come from baring one’s soul.
This is “The Castle”, the play that The Fortune Society’s founder, David Rothenberg, first conceived nearly a decade ago. Clients of the non-profit organization, which is focused on helping the formerly incarcerated, are the stars of the show.
more–like many of these articles, this piece does instrumentalize the arts here and there. (The arts, like the Holy Spirit, can enhance your self-control!) But it also shows you art as a haven for many human longings. And the former counterfeiter who teaches drawing is an especially theological rhyme. All our crimes are gifts when we place them in God’s hands.