According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, the sheriff of Lake County intentionally spent some time in his jail so that he could “better understand inmates and draw attention to the jail’s anti-recidivism efforts.” He would also like to see Illinois’ prison system do a better job of rehabilitating inmates.
After a week in his own jail, Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran on Wednesday tried to shift attention from himself to problems in the state prison system.
“I’m not playing this off like I’m some suffering saint,” he said
[. . . .]
Instead, the focus should be on improving programs for inmates so they don’t commit more crimes when they are released, said Curran, who has said the Illinois Department of Corrections holds inmates like “caged animals” in conditions that only make them hardened criminals. [more]
I am glad to see a sheriff publicly take a position like this. Our current prison system isn’t working good enough; we need to increase the amount of counseling, treatment, education, and training in our prisons. If we did, it could make a difference. Of course, the government can’t solve all our problems, but it does have a role to play.
To my Christian brothers and sisters out there, let me add an additional point or two. Christ is in the redemption business; he approves of people’s efforts to help one another and he has a special place in his heart for society’s outcasts. Prisoners are made in the image of God and are worth saving for that reason alone. Furthermore, whenever we help a prisoner get his life straightened out, we minister to Christ himself.