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Peace in prison

Christians have a call from Christ to "do unto the least of these, as you would do unto me".  Christ also calls us to love those who hate us and pray for those who persecute us.  Our prisons are filled with men and women who have come to hate free society; they've come to the point that they would rather be in prison or get into free society and harm others. 

As a Christian and as a prison counselor I am reminded of these edicts daily and have come to understand that part of Christ's message was a message to those who may not respond in a positive manner.  We are to love the unloveable and provide charity to the uncharitable. 

In regards to incarcerated men and women, we can take a part in leading them to a path of peace.  These are the violent, the aggressive, the angry, and the hostile of our world and yet, they hold great capacity for peace.  Perhaps, we as a christian community can put aside our desire for retribution and help those who society has tossed aside as unredeemable, to find a path of peace.

Within the prison system I work for I've developed a program of peace development.  It's a 16 week group therapy program calling the participants to consider the path of peace as a way to manage anger and hostility; to replace the rage with tranquility and to pursue excellence.  The more we can help the men and women in prison find peace and pursue excellence, the safer our society and communities will be


Darrin Coe, MA