“At Least Two States Let Prisons Charge the Families of Dead Ex-Prisoners for Their Food and Health Care”: Dara Lind

at Vox:Nearly every state lets prisons and jails charge inmates for their own incarceration — room, board, clothing, and doctor's visits — in a phenomenon called "pay-to-stay."We don't know exactly how many prisons and jails take advantage of "pay to stay." The latest survey, done in 2005, found that 90 percent of jails surveyed charged inmates fees of one kind of another. In an era of tight budgets, the practice is probably even more widespread today. ...In many of the statutes the B … [Read more...]

Standing in Front of Your Own House (While Black): Washington City Paper Investigates “Incommoding” Arrests

The chitlins were making Alex Dennis sick. Dennis, a 20-year-old with dreadlocks that graze his shoulders, found himself getting nauseous in his apartment while his uncle and aunt cooked soul food for Thanksgiving.Dennis walked outside to get some air, but ended up right in the grasp of the Metropolitan Police Department.Stepping outside an apartment for fresh air doesn’t draw police attention in, say, Georgetown. But Dennis doesn’t live there. Instead, he lives on Buena Vista Terrace SE, … [Read more...]

“Gay and Catholic” Book Extra: Two Frameworks for Supporting Weird Vocations

Hey y'all. A couple weeks ago I spoke to the Missio Alliance conference about friendship and celibate vocations, on a panel about "a kingdom vision for intimacy, desire, and sexual practice." And one thing which came up in conversation with Bruxy Cavey was the need for two different approaches to supporting people in what we might call overlooked vocations: paths of love other than marriage, parenting, priesthood and religious life.One approach looks to the church to be family for people who … [Read more...]

On Hot, Dry Ground: Octavia Butler’s “Parable of the Sower”

I've read Butler's phenomenal sci-fi short story collection Bloodchild, but this is the first time I've dived into one of her novels. It's about a California slowly being devastated by climate change, where society is breaking down daily, just slowly enough that people can stay in denial. A teenage girl in a relatively-privileged multiracial gated community is the only one who will admit that the future will be murder; she plans for emergencies and begins to craft a new religion whose … [Read more...]

Two Links About Wesley Hill’s Fabulous New Book “Spiritual Friendship”

Oh so much more on this book from me coming soon!First, Wes is interviewed by Jonathan Merritt for RNS: RNS: Let’s start with the foundation. How do you define friendship in a sentence or two?WH: According to Christian writers of the past, spiritual or Christ-centered friendship—the kind of friendship I’m writing about—is a bond between two (or more) people who feel affection for each other. But it’s also a bond that has a trajectory. It’s a relationship that’s about helping one another … [Read more...]

“Downwardly Mobile for Jesus”: Al-Jazeera America

from 2014, but well worth your time now: ...For people like Loftus, it’s not coffee shops or home values drawing them to places like Sandtown. It’s Jesus. Shortly after Loftus started medical school in Baltimore in 2007, he began worshipping at New Song Community Church, a racially diverse congregation in Sandtown. New Song is part of the same Presbyterian denomination as the church Loftus and his 14 siblings attended as children in Harford County, Maryland, 40 minutes outside the city.New S … [Read more...]

A Criminal Justice System: Link Round-Up

Depending on how you've calibrated your expectations, some of these might be construed as hopeful!Others not so much.1. "Fourteen Years After Decriminalizing All Drugs, Here's What Portugal Looks Like":In 2001, the Portuguese government did something that the United States would find entirely alien. After many years of waging a fierce war on drugs, it decided to flip its strategy entirely: It decriminalized them all. If someone is found in the possession of less than a 10-day supply … [Read more...]


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