Now that the Web Goddess is the head of communications for the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, I’ve been writing occasional articles for diocesan publications.Â Recently I had the opportunity at a diocesan event to cover former NJ Gov. Jim McGreevey and two ex-cons as they discussed Exodus Transitional Community, which helps formerly incarcerated people makeÂ a transition back into society.Â An excerpt:
McGreevey is a member of the Newark Dioceseâ€™s Prison Ministry, and became involved with Exodus as part of his field education at General Theological Seminary, where he is seeking a Master of Divinity degree.
More statistics: 730,000 people walk out of prison every year.Â One third of them will be back in jail in a year; two-thirds of them will be back in three years.Â The prison system â€œengenders complete dependency as a means of satiating or controlling prisoners,â€ McGreevey said, and then spills them out into the job market with atrophied social skills and â€œthe scarlet letter of a previous felony conviction.â€Â The current re-entry program, â€œsuch as it is, is a complete and utter failure.â€
Read the whole thing.
I wasn’t blogging when McGreevey resigned in 2004, but if I had been, I would have had harsh words for his conduct.Â Now I applaud him for this work.Â Surely it’s in society’s best interest to improve the job prospects of people emerging from prison.