Spirit in Jail

Jesus challenges us to reach out to those in prison. “I was in prison and you visited me.” In this interview with Steven A. Gomez, Fr. Mike and he discuss the meaning of “restorative justice”. Many dioceses have offices that have a broader mission than just visiting those in prison. It includes bringing peace and healing to all involved – perpetrators, victims and the families of victims.Steve tells of the research that says putting people in jail costs a lot of money and the rate of recidivism (returning to crime) is very high unless the program includes education and development of job skills. Steve himself grew up in a nice neighborhood, went to Loyola Marymount University, and seems like the last person to be involved in this type of ministry. He tells how this happens. His sincerity and dedication comes through as he speaks about it. He stresses that listening to the prisoner (or the victim) is the basic stance to bring about the healing and peace that all are seeking. They also discuss what one can do to help.