Care for Prisoners, Those on Death Row, and Victims of Violent Crime
When violent crime impacts a community there is a temptation to respond with anger and vengeance. But the Gospel calls for rehabilitation, reconciliation, and restoration and teaches us to respect the dignity of all human beings, even those guilty of committing horrendous crimes. To promote these ends, we should
- Encourage outreach to prisoners through programs of visitation or letter-writing
- Ensure that the spiritual needs of prisoners are met and that they can receive the sacraments
- Foster pastoral outreach to victims of violent crime
- Offer emotional and material support to the family members of prisoners, especially children, and to pregnant women and new mothers in prison.
- Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities (for full text, click here)
Coordinate with or Initiate Prison Ministry at your Parish.
Ensure that Catholic prisoners are able to receive the sacraments. Encourage parishioners to get involved in prison ministry - to donate books to prison libraries, write letters to inmates, reach out to pregnant inmates to ensure they are congratulated on and supported through their pregnancies, and provide support for families of prisoners.
Many pregnancy centers already reach out to pregnant prisoners. Support your local pregnancy center in their efforts or help them to begin prison outreach. For information about a local pregnancy center, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach out to Victims of Violent Crime.
Ensure that parishioners and community members who suffer as victims of violent crime receive the support they need. Pray for them. Organize parishioners to deliver meals. Organize parishioners to visit victims if they would like company.