Have you ever been to jail or prison? I (Sal) have so far (not as an inmate, but a visitor) and I already have met people who have (as inmates), which is why I decided to do this homepage about this ministry topic.
The stories I hear make me sad! However, the stories vary from region to region. The stories I hear from outside of the U.S. makes jails/prisons in the U.S. sound like "Disney World"-some to a certain extent!
I would like to first make my first opinion-I don't like capitol punishments (more down below) as a "minority". I personally feel there is too many social injustice where many (majority minorities) are being persecuted (socially and physically) as "innocent"! There are "innocent" people being killed because of not enough evidence or for prejudice/racial reasons!
Green Mile w/ Tom Hanks starring as a prision guard for a death row facility, where on of the prisoner that was going to be executed has some spiritual gift of healing (not the same as Jesus') Reviews: (1)
Last Castle w/Robert Redford starring as a prison inmate at a military "fort-like" prision that "keeps people in". This has some patriotic theme too!
*I have this movie, one of my favorites!
..., starring Morgan Freeman as a inmate and ?, who is "innocent"-like the rest of the prisoners (well, a few or less) and finally escapes after the Warden (religious nut) hides the evidence to set him free!
I personally don't feel that capital punishment of the death penalty is "right" because of the innocence of those inmates that haven't been really proven "guilty". The law can be very corrupted by man and causes innocent people-especially "minorities" in our nation to be falsely accussed!
Thu, 20 Apr 00 11:56AM MDT
BreakPoint by Charles Colson
[breakpoint] Forgiving the Dead Man Walking, 4/19/2000
BreakPoint Commentary #000419 - 4/19/2000
Forgiving the Dead Man Walking: Christianity's Unique Witness
by Charles Colson
Dead Man Walking's gripping portrayal of a man on
death row made it one of the most powerful films to
come out of Hollywood in recent memory. But believe
it or not, it only told half the story -- and it left
out the best part.
The power of Dead Man Walking was its portrayal of
the inherent dignity and value of even a hardened
criminal. But the story behind the story -- the story
of the victim -- goes even further, depicting the
uniquely Christian message of forgiveness.
Sixteen-year-old Debbie Morris was out on a date with
her boyfriend, Mark, one Friday evening. After pizza
and a movie, they stopped for milkshakes.
But when a stranger put a revolver to Mark's head,
their pleasant night out turned into several hours of
torture, rape, and attempted murder. It ended with
Mark shot, but alive, and Debbie deeply wounded. But
Debbie would not find true healing until she was able
to comprehend and embrace the forgiveness only God
Although the film Dead Man Walking depicted Debbie's
kidnappers as one man, there were actually two:
Robert Lee Willie and Joe Vaccaro. They kidnapped and
robbed them, leaving Mark for dead. Before releasing
Debbie, they tormented and raped her repeatedly.
When the two men were captured, Vaccaro received five
life sentences and, as the film showed, Willie was
executed for his crimes -- he eventually admitted
involvement in several murders, including butchering
But Debbie's anguish did not end when Willie was
sentenced to die. Despite those who urged her to "get
on with her life," her emotional ordeal continued. As
Debbie writes in her book, Forgiving the Dead Man
Walking, "Justice doesn't really heal all the
It was when Debbie found the grace to forgive Robert
Willie, the day he was to be executed, that she
finally knew release from suffering. In prayer -- for
herself and for Willie -- she discovered that only
God's grace is sufficient to bind up the wounds of
the human heart.
Forgiveness, you see, is much more than telling
ourselves that an offense just doesn't matter
anymore. On the contrary, forgiveness recognizes the
debt for what it is.
And it doesn't just liberate the debtor from his debt
-- it transforms the heart of the one who forgives.
In fact, forgiveness is an imitation of God's own act
of forgiveness on the Cross. By forsaking what we are
legitimately owed, we recognize that we, too, have
been forgiven a debt we can never repay.
And that's why true forgiveness is both a beacon and
a scandal to the secular mind.
Secular society has nothing that resembles the
forgiveness that the Gospel makes possible, what
Debbie Morris experienced.
And it simply cannot make sense of parents who would
forgive the killers of their children, like those
murdered at Columbine, so much in the news this week.
Remember those scenes, so vivid on television? Of the
parents forgiving Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. Of
the crosses on the side of the hill. Their forgiving
witness is an unmistakable presentation of the
transforming love of the Gospel.
We may never be called to forgive an offense as grave
as that inflicted on Debbie Morris -- or the families
of Littleton, Colorado. But we must be prepared to
forgive, not only for our own sakes, but for the sake
of our Christian witness.
And when we do, we give the world something better
than a good movie plot -- we give them a glimpse of
The Greatest Story Ever Told.
A great resource on the topic of victims and
forgiveness is the new book from Neighbors Who
Care, entitled "God and the Victim", edited by
Lisa Barnes Lampman -- with a foreword by Chuck
Colson. Find it on our website at
SPECIAL BROADCAST: We are rebroadcasting Chuck�s
1999 Easter Special �Light in the Darkness� this
weekend! �Light in the Darkness� was recorded live
in the New Jersey State Penitentiary last Easter.
Go to http://www.icrn.com/Breakpoint , beginning
Saturday, to listen.
Copyright (c) 2000 Prison Fellowship Ministries
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I decided to do some research on the heated national political debate. I was asking God myself, which he ironically led me to this chapter in the Bible...
"And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight. And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening."-Joshua 10
*" The conclusion: "There is evidence that discrimination exists against African-Americans at almost every stage of the criminal justice process." And it's not just the guilty who are being executed, we are also taking the lives of those who have been falsely convicted."
".. 19 When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, "This is how your slave treated me," he burned with anger. 20 Joseph's master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined.
But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 22 So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. 23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph's care, because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did...
".. After they had been in custody for some time, 5 each of the two men—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being held in prison—had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own.
6 When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected. 7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were in custody with him in his master’s house, “Why do you look so sad today?"
8 "We both had dreams," they answered, "but there is no one to interpret them."
Then Joseph said to them, "Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams." ..-Genesis 40
-Samson '"Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding in the prison."-Judges 16
-Micaiah (Prophet) "6 The king of Israel then ordered, "Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king's son 27 and say, 'This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.' "-1 Kings 22 "...In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the year Evil-Merodach became king of Babylon, he released Jehoiachin from prison on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month....So Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the king's table."-2 Kings 25
....adopted-Guatemalan, who lived with me from 2001-2003 asked me recently (4/12/04) for help. Particularly is praying for $200 to cover travel cost to Atlanta, GA for this rehab ministry (called "Blood & Fire") opportunity given by a Burnsville church connection with Lake Community Church in Alexandria. If you would like to be an answer to this prayer through financially, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mail Check payable to "Blood N' Fire":
Attn: Paul Styene
471 Bryan St SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
"A few men with local roots spent the winter trying to buy a home for people just released from prison who need a place to live and, hopefully, find their way through Christianity.
Life Right Outreach couldn’t have found a place more appropriate for their mission.
“We were looking for different properties and
this one popped up,” LifeRight founder Mark Foss said, smiling as he surveyed the building’s largest room.
LifeRight on Feb. 1 purchased the former Faith Community Reformed Church in Alexandria.
The building is being renovated as living quarters for up to 10 men from throughout West Central Minnesota who need a place to begin rebuilding their lives after stints in prison, jail or rehabilitation programs.
The group expects to have the building open by early summer.
Foss started LifeRight Outreach last year as a home and Christian-based transitional program to help those getting back into mainstream society get a job and some order in their lives.
Foss, a former Hancock resident, is acutely aware of what LifeRight’s residents might face. He spent years using and dealing drugs, and committing offenses which eventually led to long stretches of incarceration. He’s been through rehab many times, and when finally clean and free in August 2005, he was humbled by the financial and emotional support he received from people as he began to put his life back together.
Foss, LifeRight’s Executive Director, and other former area residents who serve on LifeRight’s board share a vision of creating a similar haven for others leaving prisons, jails or rehabilitation centers.
LifeRight will not be a sober house, nor will it technically be a half-way house program. Foss said Christian teaching will be part of the educational message, and having the sanctuary space in the renovated church building opens up many outreach opportunities for the LifeRight program, like Saturday night worship and activities.
The sanctuary space measures 85 feet by 40 feet, and the basement feature a kitchen, four bedrooms for two or three occupants -- men only -- and two bathrooms with showers. There’s also a commons area.
“Everything came together really fast,” said Dean Peterson, a former Hancock resident and business owner who is LifeRight’s board chairman. “In financing, a lot of donations came in that we didn’t expect. A lot of people in Hancock and Morris gave. The response to fundraising has been great.”
Many donors wish to remain anonymous, but the LifeRight members are quick to acknowledge how many people, businesses and organizations helped out.
Messner Electric donated the time of five men to rewire the building, and Lindsay Windows donated all new windows. Cullens got LifeRight discounts on appliances and tile, Carpet One is helping with floor coverings, and Cabinets by Carter is working with LifeRight to provide countertops for the community kitchen.
But needs remain. Foss estimated that a sprinkler system and new water service, which is required for multi-person dwellings, cost about $30,000. Renovations are expected to run about $40,000, and two new furnaces and air conditioning will set LifeRight back about $10,000.
The group also estimates that monthly expenses for the mortgage and services will be about $4,000 a month.
The occupants will be required to hold jobs and pay rent. Foss said he’ll likely have a waiting list -- I'm getting calls all the time. We won’t have any trouble putting people in here.” But the expenses will mount.
“This year will be the most expensive for us,” he said.
Fundraising efforts continue, Foss said, and he hopes the building’s opening and word-of-mouth will generate interest and support.
“We can’t be out talking to everybody, so maybe there’s somebody out there with a heart to help,” he said.
For more information about LifeRight, or to make donations, contact Foss at (320) 766-0233; secretary Pat Conroy at (218) 736-5075; Peterson at (320) 634-5414; Pastor John Taplin, LifeRight vice chairman, at (320) 808-6795, or Rick Gramm, of Hancock, a LifeRight director, at (320) 392-5499."
"After one of several trips to jail or prison, Mark Foss was amazed by the help he received from people who had no reason to do so.
The helped him find a place to live, they lent him money to start a business. Most importantly, they got him to believe.
Now Foss and other former area residents are striving to create a similar haven for others leaving prisons, jails or rehabilitation centers.
LifeRight Outreach is planned as a home and faith-based program to help those getting back into mainstream society get a job and some productive, healthy order in their lives, Foss said.
�It�s a place for them to learn to live and get back on their feet,� Foss said.
Foss, a former Hancock resident, is acutely aware of what LifeRight�s residents might face. He spent years using and dealing drugs, and committing offenses which eventually led to long stretches of incarceration. He�s been through rehab many times and is indebted to the people who accepted his past and his resolutions to live clean and sober after he was last released from prison in August 2005.
Pat Conroy, who�s known Foss since their boyhood days in Hancock, and Dean Peterson, the former owner of Hancock�s telephone company and a former neighbor of Foss, are on LifeRight�s board of directors.
Pastor John Taplin, of New Life Christian Church in Alexandria, also is a supporter of Foss and the LifeRight ideal. See sidebar story below.
"I've seen God do some awesome things in Mark's life," Peterson said. Here's a guy, the down-and-out of the whole world. Now, he's doing some great things."
LifeRight Outreach has received its federal I.D. number and is in the process of establishing its non-profit status.
But the greatest challenge lies ahead: fundraising to purchase and fix up a home for LifeRight's residents.
The house will be home for six to eight people, and Foss will be responsible for managing the operation.
"It's going to be a challenge," Peterson said.
Part of that, they all admit, will be Foss' past.
"We know people are going to think it's another scam from Mark," Peterson said. "They've seen him screw people over his whole life. But he's sincere and when he asked me to be on the board I said I would help out any way I can. I have a desire to help these people and the reason I'm willing to do it is that I'm excited by what happened with Mark. It's a miracle."
Conroy echoed those sentiments.
"Outreach to this population sounded like a worthy cause to me," Conroy said. "So when Mark asked me to help get it started, I said yes. Enthusiastically."
Foss said his experiences will serve him well, both as a credible influence on people who are walking in his shoes, and in the management of LifeRight.
"If people coming in are sincere, we'll work with them," Foss said. "If they're just trying to get over, they're out. We don't have the funds to have screw-offs in there. I can see through the smoke screens because I used some of them, if not all of them. I probably invented some of them."
LifeRight will not be a sober house, nor will it, technically, be a half-way house program. Christian teaching will be part of the educational message, Foss said.
�In my trips through prison, when I got out, I was fortunate that I had Christian friends who helped me get a house and a job,� Foss said. �That was paramount to me staying clean -- I didn�t have to worry about those things. Most people, when they get out, they have no choice but to go back to their old neighborhoods and maybe their friends who are still using. You have to get them out of that environment.�
Even once out, however, no one is expecting instant and total success, Conroy said.
�I think our eyes are wide open about the difficulties we�re going to encounter,� Conroy said. �With this population, it�s not a slam dunk incorporating them back into society. But I think we�ve got to try.�
LifeRight, as with other projects Foss has undertaken in the area, have received the support of law enforcement, Conroy said.
�Whatever we�re able to accomplish with LifeRight is such a small piece of the answer,� he said. �But law enforcement has been so supportive of whatever might cut recidivism, which is our goal.�
If, Foss said, that can be done by teaching LifeRight�s residents �a new way of Christian living,� the project will be a success. And there�s no lack of people seeking and needing it, he said.
�It takes six months for somebody to learn how to live on their own responsibly,� Foss said. �We could have people in there right now. There�s no shortage of people or families of people coming out of prison.�
For more information about LifeRight, or to make donations, contact Foss at (320) 766-0233; Conroy at (218) 736-5075; Dean Peterson at (320) 634-5414; or Taplin at (320) 808-6795. LifeRight: Pastor says know-how, passion key elements to programs�s success
Morris Sun Tribune
Published Saturday, November 24, 2007 "In our fast-paced, stressed-out, and nerve-racked society, it's truly refreshing when something actually works as planned. We are inundated with news of failures, flaws and snags, but rarely do we hear of strategies that accomplish more than what was anticipated.
Because of the ever-growing concern surrounding illegal drugs, alcoholism, and other degrading behaviors, we often wonder if the word "rehabilitation" is simply a pipe dream rather than an achievable process. LifeRight, in my eyes, is a welcomed breath of fresh air -- a testimony that puts feet under that pipe dream.
The passion behind the LifeRight organization is a man named Mark. I know him as a driven worker with a heart for the addict, a passionate mover and shaker, but Mark has informed me of his former self. He is the result of true rehabilitation. He's one of the rare ones that caught a glimpse of what life could become! His desire is to reciprocate the opportunities afforded him.
He wants to become the donator of second chances. LifeRight, a Christian-based half-way-house, exists because of Mark Foss' passion to make permanent changes in lives. Once the disdain of his home community, Mark found a new life through Jesus Christ, sobriety, and a work ethic. Instead of being just another number, Mark began to realize his potential when he was challenged with his own individual worth. Rehabilitation was too small of a goal; Mark got serious about his life when he realized that he could make an indelible difference.
The goal of LifeRight is rehabilitation but rehabilitation is not the only goal. Getting over a substance abuse addiction is a good start, but it's only a start! If a person doesn't understand their innate worth, if they have never been challenged to dream beyond their addiction, and if they do not have a work ethic to actually manifest their dreams, why change? Rehabilitation is repeated over and over by many in our culture.
They quit for a while, but failure in employment, failure in relationships and a lack of purpose in life sends many down the same old destructive roads. People have addictions for a reason! Something's missing.
As Mark's pastor and close friend, I'm excited for West Central Minnesota. I'm convinced that "know how " is not enough to change lives. "Know how " must be mixed with passion. I'm convinced that LifeRight has figured out the "Right" path for �Life.�
John Taplin is pastor of New Life Christian Church in Alexandria."
"Prison Outreach" Group of Men (must be over +21) went to minister to some of the 1,200 maximum prison (Prairie Correctional Facility-CCA) population in Appleton (Swift County), MN (1 hour west of Morris-map) by playing basketball, board games, etc� every other Mondays for awhile in 1998-1999.
Note: During the time we went there in 1998-1999, there were prisoners from Hawaii and Wisconsin
Contact: Neil, who currently goes there every other Mondays of Morris Community Church The Appleton prison shouldn't be funded,
Editor-in-Chief (UMM Register) "Private prisons exacerbate the prison epidemic, creating more economic demand for crime. The number of prisoners in the US is already increasing at an alarming rate. In 1970, the United States had 300,000 prisoners. Today's current levels are at approximately two million. Even adjusting for population, the levels of incarceration have increased over 40 percent. As a portion of the worldwide total of eight million convicts, the US has five percent of the total population, and 25 percent of the world's convicts."> Lack of Correctional Services "Appleton is a small farming community located in southwestern Minnesota, about20 miles east of the South Dakota border. The town was established in 1872 when thesettlers built a flour mill and a schoolhouse on the banks of the Pomme de Terre River.By the 1880s the town had become the area�s major distribution point for farmmachinery. Sustained by a booming farm economy founded on the production of wheatand the sale of farm machinery, Appleton thrived for a century until low grain prices andthe economics of corporate agriculture brought that era to a close. With foreclosures offamily farms and a population exodus to other communities to find jobs, farm equipmentstores were shuttered and the town appeared to be relegated to an inexorable decline.The Appleton City Coordinator, Bob Thompson, chased after a variety ofeconomic development schemes to restore the town�s employment base. Thompsonpursued plans for a gambling casino and a furniture manufacturing plant, before hittingon the prison development idea in 1989. By the spring of 1990, Thompson had recruiteda corporate board of directors to finance construction of the $28 million private prisonthrough sale of $5,000 revenue bonds. The prison development board would operateunder the aegis of the city council, with profits, if any, accruing to the city treasury. The
board was headed up by Mark Stromswold, the local �Culligan Man.� Major investorsincluded IDS Financial Services in Minneapolis, as well as the banks with local branchoffices in Appleton.The project developer was Dominion Leasing, an Edmund, Oklahoma-basedgroup that had gained the necessary experience through development of the nation�s firstcity-owned private prison in its home state. The firms that provided planning andarchitectural design were also Oklahoma-based, as was the construction contractor. Theoriginal proposal envisioned operation of 472 beds, a staff of 160, and a $3 millionannual payroll. Construction of the Prairie Correctional Facility was begun in November1990, with the opening slated for June 1992.Section 241.021, Minnesota Statutes, requires that the Minnesota Department ofCorrection inspect and license all facilities, public or private, for detention orconfinement of persons in the state. The city applied for and received a license to operatethe new facility as a medium security prison. The license required that the prisonmaintain at least a partial staff of 80 on the payroll before it could open for business. Nocontracts to house prisoners had been secured, however, and the facility was operatedwithout a revenue source at a loss of nearly $10,000 a day for more than 10 months.7In January 1993, the Appleton Prison Corporation officials approachedMinnesota�s governor with a blanket offer to either provide prison beds on a contractbasis, or to lease or sell the facility to the state. But Minnesota DOC managers had prisonexpansion plans of their own, already well underway, involving conversion of regionaltreatment centers at Moose Lake and Faribault. The offer was quickly declined.The following month the prison development board defaulted on a total of $1.5million in interest and principal payments which had come due. By this time the spectacleof a prison running on empty attracted international attention. Appleton was flooded withmedia, including reporters from both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.Michael Moore filmed a segment of his TV Nation show at the prison site, interviewingcorrectional officers and townspeople about the empty facility.Finally, in March of 1993, the board secured a three-year contract to houseprisoners from Puerto Rico. The start-up problems common to other �spec� prisons wereequally evident in early operations at the Appleton prison: prison officials were willing totake whatever inmates they could get; insufficient information from the Puerto Ricocorrections department impeded proper classification of prisoners; and inexperiencedstaff grappled with very seasoned, difficult prisoners. Added to this volatile mix werecultural and language issues stemming from the complete lack of familiarity betweenprison staff and prisoners. DOC licensing inspectors complained that the facility wasunderstaffed and lacked Spanish-speaking officers.8The experience over the next 19 months with these prisoners was extremelydifficult. There were riots. The FBI investigated allegations by ex-employees thatprisoners had been beaten and abused by a �Special Operations Response Team" wearing
black face masks. Within the same time frame, four wardens were hired and terminatedby the city.9By August 1994, a fifth warden, Hoyt Brill, had been recruited from Colorado,and a second contract had been secured to house prisoners from that state. By October,287 prisoners had been received from Colorado, and 100 more were on the way whenAppleton city officials decided to evict the Puerto Ricans, demanding that thegovernment of Puerto Rico remove them as soon as possible. Puerto Rican officialsmanaged to obtain a temporary restraining order to block removal of their prisoners, butultimately they were removed.Minnesota DOC officials expressed concern that housing units were not properlystaffed to accommodate the influx of new prisoners, sufficient vocational programs werenot available to them, and again, in-coming prisoners were not being screened withproper classification methods. They placed a temporary ban on acceptance of moreinmates until these problems were addressed.10After the removal of convicts from Puerto Rico the operational crises subsidedsomewhat. However, in July 1996, the Appleton Development Corporation remained indefault on the prison bonds, owing $26.7 million principal debt and $9.7 million inunpaid interest. Eventually Warden Brill was able to secure a multi-million dollar "bail-out" deal with the Corrections Corporation of America that allowed the non-profitcorporation to make good its obligation to the bond-holders on their original investment,with a one percent return. As part of the deal, CCA was granted rights for a $25 millionexpansion of the facility as they assumed operations. The same year, PCF was finallyable to secure a small contract to house Minnesota state prisoners under fundingexpressly appropriated for that purpose by the Minnesota legislature. A contract wasdrawn up for 95 beds at $55 per day.By the winter of 1998, when the University of Minnesota research teamconducted interviews with prisoners, CCA was housing inmates from a number ofdifferent state and federal sources and the daily prison population at PCF had reached1,250. Seventy were held under the contract with the Minnesota DOC. Almost 1,000were prisoners shipped in from Colorado, and the remainder were housed under contractswith Hawaii, North Dakota, and the US Marshals Service. About 2,700 Minnesotaprisoners were being held at the three medium-security public prisons, where theprisoners that comprised the matched comparison group were confined"
Related Sites: Prison Talk
MCF-Willow River/Moose Lake
1000 Lake Shore Drive
Moose Lake, Minnesota 55767
fax 218/485-5120 Lino Lakes-Level 3, 7525 Fourth Avenue
Lino Lakes, Minnesota 55014
phone 651/717-6100 (mapquest) " The facility is the primary department treatment center for sex offenders and provides prerelease programming for sex offenders released to the community. Chemical dependency programming is provided in TRIAD, a 290-bed therapeutic community. Additional programming is offered through educational and vocational classes, and work opportunities are available through support services.
Lino Lakes is also the site of the InnerChange Freedom Initiative, a faith-based program funded and operated by Prison Fellowship through a partnership with the corrections department. "
-St. Cloud St. Cloud-Level 4, 2305 Minnesota Boulevard S.E.
St. Cloud, MN 56304
fax 320/240-3054 "The Minnesota Correctional Facility-St. Cloud, 2305 Minnesota Boulevard, St. Cloud, Minnesota 56304, is a level four, close-security institution built in 1889, remodeled and modernized. Population is 979 (1/06). A variety of programs is offered such as individual and group counseling and chemical dependency. The facility serves as the department's intake center for adult males.
Varied educational opportunities are available including adult basic education, GED instruction, and vocational training with programs in barbering, masonry, painting, and decorating. MINNCOR Industries oversees the production of Minnesota's auto and truck license plates and tabs. "
"LAMP represents indigent inmates in civil legal cases. Our goal is to provide excellent legal representation, through student attorneys who are supervised by licensed attorneys, to those who need it most."
*referred by a friend, whose son is in prison (10/22/08) The LAMP clinic and what we do, from William Mitchell College
"This week, the United States Senate passed S. 1867 also known as the National Defense Authorization Act including sections 1031 and 1032 which authorize the military to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens without trial or charge. Despite national outcry over the bill which effectively suspends the Constitutional rights of those suspected of terrorist activities and would allow Americans to be incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, the Senate passed the bill by an overwhelming margin of 93-7. This means that Congress could easily override the President’s threatened veto.
But this act of Congress is even more dangerous than we first thought. Included in the bill is Amendment 1068 which was offered by Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. This part of the bill undermines President Obama’s executive order that bans torture and overrides the list of permissible interrogation techniques in the US Army Field Manual. In other words, the US military could arrest ordinary American citizens without reading them their Miranda Rights, put them in a cell at Gitmo without the benefit of an attorney, a trial, or charges of any kind, and then torture them during interrogation. A secret list of torture techniques would be created without public knowledge.
Who does this affect? Every single man, woman, and child on American soil would be directly affected by this bill. It would give this President and all future Presidents, the power to arrest American citizens with the military and torture them into confession even if they are innocent. Essentially, it turns the Presidency into a dictatorship authorized to use the military against the people.
The Occupy movement in particular could face this unconstitutional military action. Just imagine if Republicans captured the White House in 2012. Conservative media, corporations, and Republican politicians have referred to the Occupy protesters as terrorists or worse than terrorists. Just this accusation alone gives the President cause to unleash the military to round up and arrest the protesters en masse, suspend their constitutional rights, and torture them in a prison off American soil, all because they were exercising their right to protest. This is an extraordinarily dangerous and un-American bill that would destroy the Constitution and our system of government. The judicial system would be powerless to do anything about it too.
We the people must demand that our government discard this bill permanently. It goes against everything America values and stands for. We must write, email, call, and protest our senators and representatives and the White House and call for action. You can also visit this page and sign a petition. Unless Americans stand up and fight this, we may one day have to rely on other countries to free us from ourselves.
Forgiving the Unforgivable: Restorative Justice
"A woman, backed by a Lutheran church, works with prisoners to provide restorative justice. In the video, a man who shoots a mother and father"s son works steps with the victim"s family towards healing and forgiveness"
*see South Dakota
"A second video done for Upstate Jail Ministries, set to "I Will Remember You" by Sarah Mclachlan"
Insight Prison Project
"Insight Prison Project won a Community Leadership Award from the San Franicsco Foundation in 2005 for its dedication to breaking the cycle of incarceration through effective in-prison rehabilitation programming, and for being a model for catalyzing statewide prison reform. "
*found this through a musical video (see GoodnewsEverybody.com Liberal Arts: Justice)
"Captives at Guantánamo Bay were chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor for 18 hours or more, urinating and defecating on themselves, an FBI report has revealed.
The accounts of mistreatment were contained in FBI documents released yesterday (pdf) as part of a lawsuit involving the American Civil Liberties Union, a civil liberties group.
In the 2004 inquiry, the FBI asked nearly 500 employees who had served at Guantánamo Bay to report possible mistreatment by law enforcement or military personnel. Twenty-six incidents were reported, some of which had emerged in earlier document releases.
Besides being shackled to the floor, detainees were subjected to extremes of temperature. One witness said he saw a barefoot detainee shaking with cold because the air conditioning had bought the temperature close to freezing.....
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base (Gitmo) Documentary
" Uploaded on Dec 16, 2010
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, also called Gitmo
By ATMO productions. In the wake of 911 2001 terrorist attacks, the USA opened a prison camp at Guantanomo Bay. The Hundreds of prisoners believed to be detained there are not afforded prisoner of war status according to the Geneva Convention. They are labelled unlawful combatants, held indefinitely with no right to a lawyer or a trial.
"You really need to treat them like dogs, or else if you treat them any better then that you have effectively lost control of the interrogation"
This documentary looks at the link between Guantanomo Bay and the torture methods used in Iraq and the roots of how US forces tackle the task of retrieving information from the detainees. Ex detainee Mehdi from Sweden breaks his vow of silence and talks about his time at Cuba. Interviews with senior officers within the Cuban base. An Ex officer from within the Iraqi prisons speaks of how she was misled on treatment of prisoners and how direct orders from the top were given authorising torture methods. "nickname GITMO by US officers" Running time approx 100 minutes
" Calvary Commission provides hope and training for former prison inmates at our training school. Many of these hundreds of "Commissioners" are now pastors, educators, missionaries, and businessmen."
The Redemption of Michael Vick - A Holy Ghost Moment from WEESeeYou.com
Michael Vick shares first-ever testimony POSTED Saturday, Feb. 6. bpnews.net "Former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy listens while a fan congratulates Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick on turning his life around after spending 23 months in Leavenworth Prison for dog-fighting. Dungy told the Super Bowl Prayer Breakfast earlier that he and Vick spoke at least once a week during Vick's incarceration. Bob Carey..
MIAMI (BP)--God's redemptive power in his once-troubled life was Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick's theme at the annual Super Bowl Breakfast Saturday morning.
Speaking publicly for the first time as an adult about his faith in Jesus Christ, Vick said God was again the first priority in his life. He also shared for the first time about the role former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy played in his restoration with God.
"I feel I'm in the back seat now and God is in the front," Vick told Baptist Press in a post-breakfast interview. "Five months ago I was worried with what was going to happen (with the NFL), but now I'm more at peace. God has taken it over. I don't have to worry about being dynamic. God is in control of that."
Vick spoke standing beside Dungy before 1,100 fans, in his first-ever retelling of the role faith played in his life at the maximum security prison in Leavenworth, Kansas.
"I wanted a chance to redeem myself," he said. "Pre-incarceration it was all about me. When I got to prison, I realized I couldn't do it anymore. The one thing I could rely on was my faith in God."
While he has a peace from God in his life and doesn't fear his future on the field or off, Vick said he is still haunted by his deeds of his previous life.
"The toughest thing was being away from my kids (ages 7, 5 and 2). I missed 18 months of their life that I will never get back.
"They still have questions [about] why I went away for so long and those are questions they shouldn't have to ask."
Dungy, a longtime supporter of the annual breakfast sponsored by Athletes in Action and Campus Crusade for Christ, said organizers of this year's banquet asked him if Vick would be willing to share his faith publically one day before Super Bowl XLIV.
"I thought it was a good venue for Michael and he agreed. People know about my faith, but they needed to hear about Michael's. I thought he did a very good job."
Vick said he became a Christian in high school in Virginia and began reading his Bible, but the more success he achieved on the football field, the less he needed God.
"I was so self-centered, I forgot about the Lord," he admitted.
After going to jail for bankrolling a dog fighting ring, and losing almost every material thing in his life, Vick said he realized how far he had fallen.
"I got back to my roots. The only thing I could do in prison was fall back on God. I wanted to do things right, that I didn't do the first time."
Dungy came into Vick's life in his final months in the federal prison -- Vick's lawyer was from the same hometown as Dungy's wife. Dungy visited Vick in Leavenworth and began to help him put his life back together and to help him restore his walk with God.
They still keep in weekly contact and Dungy helped Vick get a backup job with the Eagles this season.
Vick admitted his first year out of prison and back in the NFL was a struggle.
"I thought the transition would be easy, but it was a hard for me. I did things I never thought I would do, like studying and working by myself. I stayed close to my faith, constant in prayer and close to Tony's calls and texts."
While the Eagles hold his NFL rights for another year, his football future, once unlimited, is far from certain. Vick said he's determined to leave his life in God's hands and leave the results up to Him.
"The main thing is I don't want to disappoint God," he said.
"I don't want to disappoint my family, Tony or Roger (NFL commissioner Goddell)," he added. "God has blessed with a second chance that is something I will value forever. I don't want to let Him down."
After Vick's emotional appearance, former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner accepted the AIA Bart Starr Award, annually given to the player who exhibits character and leadership on and off the field.
"These awards are simply a platform to give glory to God in my life," Warner said.
He explained his own personal transformation in his life, shared the plan of salvation and invited people to accept Jesus Christ into their life for the first time.
Among the people at the breakfast were Indianapolis head coach Jim Caldwell and several members of his team, who briefly talked about the importance of faith in their lives.
Art Stricklin is a sports correspondent for Baptist Press.
Dan Lirette testimony from Crime to Christ
"Dan Lirette was Born Again and Spirit Filled while yet a youth; his date of Salvation was October 27th, 1992, at the Madawaska Regional Correctional Center for youth, presently housing adults. From his pre-teen years until his conversion, Dan�s lifestyle was one of criminal behavior and wicked attitude of heart. Upon conversion, Dan�s life took a dramatic change from that of a criminal to that of a genuine Christian and also to that of a productive citizen. The change was so profound that Probation Services in Moncton NB, Canada, in conjunction with the New Brunswick Community College requested that Dan Lirette speak, via Campus College Radio, to several NBCC campuses across New Brunswick�rather than uplift the rehabilitaion services of the Canadian Justice System, Dan immediately, upon a student asking why his lifestyle had changed so instantly, replied, �It was neither the prison programs or any other Canadian Justice System program which caused my life to change�.it was Jesus Christ alone.� After being released early from the maximum security prison due to good behavior, Dan began studying the Scriptures from many various perspectives, from that of Fundamentalism right over into the Word of Faith Movement�s teachings and practices! Dan�s personal doctrinal stance is that of a Charismatic Fundamentalist, joining hands, so to speak, with those of genuine Biblical Faith, and crying out against those of a counterfeit type-faith. Called, equipped and licensed as a Minister under a reputed independant/non denominational Fellowship, Dan oversees the general functions of In Christ Ministries, allowing for the diversity of denominational affiliation with ICM while at the same time not allowing for Doctrinal compromise. That being said, we do not fail to mention a short time in Dan�s younger life where a brief �exodus�, so to speak, took place in which he was entangled in several cultic teachings (Word Of Faith) under the guise of Christianity; that said, he also strayed from fellowship and intimacy with the Lord for a time, having become disillusioned in what he thought was true Christianity, and to what he later learned to be a counterfeit meant to cause him to fall in his walk with Jesus Christ. Now, in this present time, at almost 30 years of age, Dan�s area of Ministry is varied, having earned several certifications, both in the secular field (trade) and in the Biblical field�yet, his personal �favorite� is Theological Study, Evangelism, Revival and Discernment, preferring above all, however, to preach the Gospel and see lost man come into relationship with Jesus Christ!"
Son of Sam/Son of Hope Part1
"The powerful testimony of David Berkowitz featuring evangelist Steve Hill. The one thing that many can not and will not accept is that David, because of his confession of sin, has received the gift of eternal life. See David's new website at www.AriseandShine.org Special thanks to Jerri for sharing this video for the GodTube community to view"
"Twenty-three years ago, a spate of random murders paralyzed New York City. The killer left police a note, which read, "I am a monster. I am the Son of Sam." When the police finally captured the killer, David Berkowitz, he stretched his face into a macabre smile.
But two weeks ago, on Larry King Live, we saw a different Berkowitz. King was interviewing him from a New York prison, and those who tuned in saw the former Son of Sam boldly witnessing to King about his faith in Christ, and even leading viewers in a prayer.
The interview took place because of a new movie about Berkowitz, called Summer of Sam, which dredges up the whole nightmare again. But the film leaves out one of the most remarkable parts of Berkowitz's story--one he did not miss the opportunity to share with Larry King. About ten years ago, Berkowitz turned his life over to Jesus Christ. Berkowitz says he now wants nothing more than to lead others to Christ, and he's made two videos for that very purpose.
The companies that produced the videos say Berkowitz doesn't get a penny from them. And they didn't produce them until they were sure the videos could not be used to help Berkowitz's chances of parole.
THE GREATEST MIRACLE IS THE MIRACLE OF A GENUINELY CHANGED LIFE.
In a video called "Son of Sam, Son of Hope," Berkowitz lifts his hands and says, "At one time, these hands were being used by the devil to destroy. But I thank God today for His great mercy that these hands are being used to touch lives."
And they HAVE touched lives. The producers of the videos say they know of "dozens and dozens" of converted to Christ after watching them.
It's a tremendous conversion story--one every bit as dramatic as that of another murderer, Paul of Tarsus. But whenever the news media talks about Berkowitz's changed life, it's with a cynical tone. Many reporters don't hide the fact that they think his conversion is phony, something he's putting on to improve his chances of parole.
Why so much skepticism?
The answer has to do with the way many of our elites view reality. Many of them believe in the philosophy of naturalism--the idea that nature is all there is, that there is no supernatural agent at work in the world. According to this view, miracles simply can't happen.
Of course the greatest miracle is the miracle of a genuinely changed life. So when a Satanist like Berkowitz repents and follows God, there is no natural explanation. That's why such conversion stories rankle non-believers.
Twenty-five years ago, the media couldn't believe it when the Nixon hatchet man became a repentant follower of Jesus. But Scripture affirms a God Who created the universe and everything in it--and Who therefore stands outside it. So when He intervenes-- in my life, or in the life of a murderer--it is, well, miraculous.
If your friends saw the Larry King interview with Berkowitz, or watched the new movie about his life, help them understand how it came about that the Son of Sam became a child of God. And tell them, as well, about the God Who exists outside of His creation, and Who is able to do things that are truly controversial--and truly out of this world.
[David Berkowitz's testimony is available online at http://www.inetworld.net/hutrcc/davidb.htm ] "
-Bio: NY's Most Famous Serial Killer, from crimelibrary.com "The Letter
Captain Joseph Borrelli of the New York City Police Department was one of the key members of the Omega Group. Operation Omega was the task force headed by Deputy Inspector Timothy Dowd to find the psycho who was killing women in various parts of the city with a .44 caliber handgun." Wikipedia "Berkowitz was born Richard David Falco in Brooklyn, New York, to Betty Broder and Joseph Kleinman. Broder was married to Tony Falco and had a daughter with him. Although Falco abandoned her, they never divorced. She later had an affair with the married Kleinman. When Broder told Kleinman that she was pregnant, he told her to have an abortion. However, Broder had the baby and listed Falco as the father.
A few days after his birth, he was adopted by Nathan and Pearl Berkowitz, a Jewish couple who reversed the order of the baby's first and middle names.
David Abrahamsen writes that "David's childhood was somewhat troubled. Although of above-average intelligence, he lost interest in learning at an early age and began an infatuation with petty larceny and pyromania." Berkowitz's tense relationship with his father became even more strained, and he disliked the woman Nathan later married. Berkowitz joined the U.S. Army in 1971, and was active until 1974. He managed to avoid service in the Vietnam War, instead serving in both the U.S. and South Korea. Afterward, he toyed with Christianity, briefly and enthusiastically described himself as born again.
In 1974 Berkowitz located his birth mother, Betty Falco. After only a few visits, she disclosed the details of his conception and birth, which greatly disturbed him. She had been having an affair with a married man when she became pregnant.
Subsequently, they fell out of contact with each other. However, Berkowitz did stay in touch with a half-sister.
Berkowitz worked at several jobs, and was employed by the U.S. Postal Service at the time of his arrest....
While in jail Berkowitz became a born again Christian and said that his obsession with the occult and pornography played a major role in these murders. He sent a letter to New York governor George Pataki asking that his parole hearing be canceled, stating, "I can give you no good reason why I should even be considered." In June of 2004, he was denied in his second parole hearing after he stated that he did not want one. The board saw that he had a good record in the prison programs, but decided that the brutality of his crimes called for him to stay imprisoned. In July of 2006, the board once again denied parole on similar grounds, with Berkowitz not in attendance at the hearing. He is very involved in prison ministry and regularly counsels troubled inmates.
In June 2005, Berkowitz sued his former attorney Hugo Harmatz. The attorney took possession of letters and other personal belongings from Berkowitz in order to publish a book of his own. Berkowitz stated that he would only drop the lawsuit if the attorney signed over all money he makes to the victims' families. On October 25, 2006, Berkowitz and his attorney settled out of court. Hugo Harmatz finally agreed to return properties to Berkowitz's present attorney Mark Jay Heller, and to give part of the profit made by his book to the State Crime Victims Board."
-Movie: IMDB "This is a great film which almost completely accuratley shows the Son of Sam murders. I know, i was so impressed by the portrayal of Sam in the movie that I looked up David Berkowitz- the Son of Sam- and realized that Mr. Lee had taken every line and murder sequence word for word and scene for scene from the actual events. Spike Lee makes Berkowitz look like a sick man and even gets into the head of Berkowitz so deeply that at times you start to thin your crazy. Although the Son of Sam murders are only the backdrop for the main story of which is the story of a Bronx neighborhood where drugs and prejudice of those who are different reside. When it is discovered that the Son of Sam is attacking near neighborhood these factors become larger as everyone who isn't a "regular" Itallian American becomes a suspect"
"CHARLOTTE, N.C (ANS) -- Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola was once called the "bloodiest prison in the South." Now, because of the faith of its current warden, the hearts and lives of inmates there are being transformed daily. How could one of the darkest and most dreaded places in America change into a bastion of hope and love?
This inside story of God's power and other testimonies will inspire millions of viewers on the next Billy Graham Television Special, "Longing for Change," which airs in cities across the U.S. May 31 - June 8. The special shares the stories of people who searched for change in the wrong places, discovering that lasting change comes only through knowing Jesus Christ. ..
700 Club - Feature - "Live to Tell" - Marty Angelo - 5/23/06
"..Angelo was arrested in 1980 for two counts of possession of cocaine and served two and a half years in a federal prison. He became a Christian through his legal troubles and has been a minister for the last 26+ years.
" Uploaded on Nov 1Nov 8, 2011
Award winning documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy explores the human and political consequences of one of the most bitter scandals of the war in Iraq in this feature. In the 1960′s, a prison was built in Abu Ghraib, an Iraqi city west of Baghdad, and during the regime of Saddam Hussein it became a center of torture and abuse where political dissidents were subjected to agonizing punishment or death.
Following the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003, the prison was taken over by American military authorities, and was used as a holding facility for prisoners of war and suspected terrorists captured by U.S. forces.
The prison's reputation as a site of widespread abuse rose again when journalists discovered photographs of Iraqi prisoners being tortured and humiliated in an ugly variety of ways by American soldiers, a scandal which had a major impact on international thinking about the war.
Ghosts of Abu Ghraib offers an in-depth look at the story behind the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, featuring interviews with observers on both sides of the national divide. Ghosts of Abu Ghraib received its world premiere at the 2007.
*CIA that interrogated Abi Jadi (1:01) was the only murdered photographed
Specialist Darby was told that he would be "anonymous" after reporting the pictures
Animal House Theory was developed first in Brazil
used by interrogators , which the night shift being accussed of doing this "on their own" was actually ordered by a "higher chain of command"
11 low-ranking military police were court martialed, 1 high-ranking official was demoted and retired, which 1 high-ranking official (Miller) was promoted
Dr. Stanley Milgram, people do what they are told to do as long it's from a legitimate authority, shock-treatment test
Stanley Milgram - Obedience
"Tonga (MNN) ― Many prisoners in Tonga are detained as a result of violent riots. A race war between indigenous Tongans and Chinese businessmen is the cause of much of the violence.
Correctional officials in Tonga believe a strong Bible study would provide racial reconciliation through teaching forgiveness. With the help of Crossroad Bible Institute, it will provide much more.
CBI has been operating a prison ministry for over 25 years. Although they do not have a site in Tonga, they do have a distribution center in Australia, which will now provide materials for prisons in Tonga as well as for the nearby island country of Vanuatu.
Although racial violence does not appear to be a problem in Vanuatu, correctional officials there are also in favor of a faith-based program in their prisons. They are especially interested in the ability of these types of programs to increase success rates of inmates when they are released.
With clear support from both countries, CBI will be able to minister freely within prisons, but their ministry will be sure to bring more than just success upon release or reconciliation. CBI brings the hope of Jesus Christ to seemingly hopeless situations by clearly explaining the Gospel to incarcerated individuals.
To learn more about Crossroad Bible Institute, click here.
The Prison Yard Cross
"POSTED November 11, 2008 The political prisoners of the Philippines perform."
" 10 Some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom,
prisoners suffering in iron chains,
11 for they had rebelled against the words of God
and despised the counsel of the Most High.
12 So he subjected them to bitter labor;
they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
13 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
14 He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom
and broke away their chains.
15 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for men,
16 for he breaks down gates of bronze
and cuts through bars of iron. "-Psalm 107
"Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me..-Psalm 142:7
"The cowering prisoners will soon be set free; they will not die in their dungeon, nor will they lack bread...-Isaiah 51:14
Dougie March - Prison To Preacher - Christian Testimony
"Produced by Word Out Productions Dougie March, born in the North East of England. Raised to fight before he could write, served time in 7 prisons for violence.
Dougies ... all � Life turned around with an encounter with Jesus Christ in 1986.
Please visit our website
www.wordout.co.uk contact Dougie at