By Mary Sauer
Motivated by their belief that all humans are made in the image of God, the United States Catholic Church has vocalized their support of the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015. The details of this bill include programs which will provide prisoners with additional job training, counseling and recovery support.
The purpose of these programs is providing prisoners with the assistance they need to avoid returning to their previous criminal behaviors, especially because research has shown unemployment to be one of the largest contributors to recidivism, according to the National Employment Law Project. In addition to anti-recidivism programs, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 would include reduction of the mandatory minimum sentences which are presently used when convicting low-level and nonviolent drug offenders.
The Catholic Church has a history of supporting the justice system when they take an approach which encourages justice and the rehabilitation of the offenders, not vengeance.
“It makes no sense to return a person to the community with no assistance, just so they can go back and commit crime,” explained Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami. Wenski serves as a chair on the U.S. bishops’ committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.