The Pope and the Prison System: Two Links

The Pope and the Prison System: Two Links September 29, 2015

“Some Inmates Who Met Pope Francis Are Only in Jail Because They’re Poor”:

PHILADELPHIA — When Pope Francis visited an overcrowded prison on Sunday, he talked to inmates about the need for “rehabilitation” and for inmates to get “back on the right road.” What he may not have realized is that most of the inmates being held in Philadelphia’s Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility have not yet been convicted of a crime.

Some of the inmates who met Pope Francis have been charged with serious crimes, such as murder, rape or robbery, which judges may decide require them to be locked up in the interest of public safety until their case is resolved in court. But others have been charged with much less serious offenses and are being held only because they cannot afford to purchase their freedom as they wait for the justice system to resolve their case. The vast majority of the people at the facility are there because they have not made bail. They have not yet been convicted, meaning they are supposedly presumed innocent.

One inmate HuffPost spoke with has been there for more than two years, and his case is just being resolved. Another inmate who is being sentenced now has already been behind bars for 23 months. Yet another has been in for 19 months and still not been sentenced.

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“Pope Francis and Criminal Justice”:

Unfortunately, Pope Francis’ past comments in support of the drug war suggest that he will refuse to acknowledge one of the biggest contributors to American injustice and a primary reason why so many people end up in American prisons in the first place: drug prohibition.

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