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. 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 make a transition back into society. An excerpt:
McGreevey is a member of the Newark Diocese’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. One third of them will be back in jail in a year; two-thirds of them will be back in three years. The prison system “engenders complete dependency as a means of satiating or controlling prisoners,” McGreevey said, and then spills them out into the job market with atrophied social skills and “the scarlet letter of a previous felony conviction.” The current re-entry program, “such as it is, is a complete and utter failure.”
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. Now I applaud him for this work. Surely it’s in society’s best interest to improve the job prospects of people emerging from prison.