Since assuming office, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has shown little interest in expanding the efforts of his predecessors in curbing policies that criminal justice reform advocates blame for America’s high rates of mass incarceration. Instead, he’s doubled down, recently instructing federal prosecutors to pursue the harshest penalties for drug dealers and gun violence offenders. (Read his memo.)
Sessions’ intentions are discouraging news for those who have long pressed for reform, a group which includes Chuck Colson’s Prison Fellowship. They also present an opportunity for Christians to speak into America’s anti-drug policy, one of the “biggest catastrophic failures in American history, says Craig DeRoche, Prison Fellowship’s senior vice president of advocacy and public policy.
Christians ought to get “involved because our values are are at stake and a lot of human lives that God cares about...are at stake,” said DeRoche. “This is an invitation for Christians to engage.”
DeRoche joined assistant editor Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss the good intentions behind mandatory minimums, what the Old Testament has to say to our current legal climate, and how Prison Fellowship ended up partnering with the NAACP and ACLU to support previously incarcerated people.