Nancy LaVigne, Director of the Justice Policy Center, opens the Summit by giving an overview and statistics for mass incarceration. She addresses questions such as “What is mass incarceration?” “What has caused the incarceration growth in the U.S?” “What is the impact of mass incarceration on individuals, families, communities and culture?” And, “What are ways the faith community can respond?”
A visual and audio depiction of the criminal justice system in the U.S. and mass incarceration (provided by Visually).
David Iglesias, Director of the Wheaton Center for Faith, Politics, and Economics at Wheaton College shares his experience as a former U.S. prosecutor, the power of the prosecutor, politics and being tough on crime, crime rates, race, ethnicity and incarceration, and the media’s contribution to crime perceptions.
Joseph Williams, Executive Director of the Correctional Ministries and Chaplains Association, discusses the challenges and barriers formerly incarcerated persons face as they transition and reintegrate back into society along with the broader picture of incarceration and reentry.
Jon Kelly, Senior Pastor of Chicago West Bible Church, shares his story of incarceration and what he learned from God’s hand upon his life. He shares three things available to him upon release and that which he attributes to his successful transition and reintegration back into society.
Ed Stetzer, Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center, interviews Dr. Vincent Bacote, Director of the Center for Applied Christian Ethics at Wheaton College. Bacote reminds us of Biblical truths and challenges Christians to remember we are all created in the image of God, to care for our neighbor, get politically involved, know who is impacted by crime, steward spheres which are at work in the world, and bring the hope of Christ.
Karen Swanson, Director of the Institute for Prison Ministries at the Billy Graham Center, dives into some research and talks about the role of pastors to combat the problem of mass incarceration. Dr. Swanson invites Christians to expand their view of correctional ministry to include both holistic compassionate care and pursuing justice.
Harold Dean Trulear, National Director of Healing Communities, talks about the role of our churches to care for those impacted by incarceration. Dr. Trulear offers several challenges for the church to change in its current practices for engaging with those who are or have been justice-involved.
Heather Rice-Minus, Vice President of Governmental Affairs, Prison Fellowship, talks about the Church’s role in dealing with the problem of mass incarceration. Heather provides hope that positive changes are happening and provides practical ways the Church can advocate for prison reforms.
Miea Walker is the Engagement Coordinator for the Second Chance Alliance with the North Carolina Justice Center.
Glenn Martin, Founder and President of JustLeadershipUSA
Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile, Anacostia River Church, Washington D.C. concludes the GC2 Summit on Mass Incarceration with a reminder of what the gospel calls us to do with the problem of mass incarceration. Pastor Anyabwile challenges Christians to a faith that is concerned about the souls of men, but also about the bodies of men. To be committed to proclaiming and liberation.