For those working with prisoners, 2023 resolution suggestions from St. Francis

 

UNLOCKING PRISON DOORS IN 2023

A St. Francis New Year Resolution Guide

By Doug Tjapkes*

 

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace

 

…where there is hatred,

-Friends, loved ones and victims, themselves, often express hatred of the perp

-After commission of a heinous act, criminals sometimes express hatred of themselves

-Certain types of crime prompt the public to express hatred

                                                                                                let me sow love;

 

…where there is injury,

-Family bonds may be injured when someone offends

-Incarceration can and often does injure romantic relationships

-Harsh words behind bars injure feelings

                                                                                                pardon;

 

…where there is doubt,

-Society has doubts about prison occupants

-Inmates have doubts about their future

-The judicial system has doubts about rehabilitation

                                                                                                faith;

 

…where there is despair,

-Mental illness is rampant in prisons and jails

-Life without parole is a type of death-penalty

-Capital punishment remains alive and well

                                                                                                hope;

 

…where there is darkness,

-Racial disparity is rampant in the judicial system

-Gangs prevail behind bars

-Prison staff morale struggles

                                                                                                light;

 

…and where there is sadness,

-Wrongful conviction numbers remain high

-Prison life destroys families

-Hundreds die behind bars

                                                                                                joy.

O divine Master,

 

Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

(Family members and loved ones of perps

Family members and loved ones of victims

The wrongly accused, wrongly convicted, over-charged, over-sentenced)

 

To be understood, as to understand

(The loneliness of prison

The pain of isolation

The agony of guilt)

 

To be loved, as to love

(The transgender inmate

The sex offender

The guilty)

 

For it is in giving that we receive,

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

 

 

 

*Doug Tjapkes is an award-winning broadcast journalist, an author, and the founder of HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS.

 

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