Prisoners really aren't different.
Sure there are some bad apples. That's what prison is for. It's a place where we put people who have committed crimes against society.
Having said that, I will tell you what I hear the most from volunteers who finally go into prison, from non-criminals who actually find themselves in prison, from my friends in a singing group that perform in prison: They're not any different than the rest of us.
The reason I bring this up is this. I just opened the mail today. HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS received a contribution from a gang of guys in the Ionia Correctional Facility. I've talked in the past about prisoners and finances. They work for wages unlike anything you're seen or heard. $15-20 a month, for example. Money is important to them, because they must purchase their own supplies from the state's own store. Because the food leaves a lot to be desired, they like to purchase snacks in the store, also. So they really watch their pennies. This means that when we receive a check for $100 from a group of prisoners, it is an incredible gift. A huge sacrifice. And making a contribution isn't simple or easy for them. The state makes it difficult. Finally, in frustration, the guys gave up trying to make individual contributions. Instead, they put all their money together, gave it to a spokesman for the group, and he withdrew the money from his account for a contribution to HFP.
They're a lot like you and me. In spite of the mess-ups in their own lives, they want to do good things. They appreciate friendships. They want to help others in trouble. They want to help others avoid trouble in their own lives.
It's no surprise to me that Jesus said if we show kindness to them, we're actually showing kindness to HIM.
A decent lot, this gang from Ionia. Nice guys trying to do nice things.
I love 'em.