- Feb 23, 2020
Cameroon’s Catholic clergy made a special effort to visit the West African country’s prisons on Christmas Day.
A voluntary faith and character-based program, created by state law, aims to assist inmates in their adjustment to prison, help them take responsibility for their actions and reduce recidivism, meaning the tendency to relapse into criminal behavior.
Visiting the imprisoned is an act of mercy that has implications for all Christians and not just those involved in prison ministry, Pope Francis said.
So-called “Second Chance” Pell Grants, an experimental program to fund college educations for inmates and in which two Catholic institutions have been participating, are getting an expanded boost toward permanence.
Sentencing someone to life in prison without the possibility of parole is “not the solution to problems, but a problem to solve,” Pope Francis told Italian prison guards, prison chaplains and officials from the Ministry of Justice.
A longtime effort of Kolbe Prison Ministries and Texas diocesan correction ministries, Kolbe prison retreats, named for the Polish martyr, offer incarcerated men and women the chance to experience God’s redemptive grace and mercy with a weekend featuring the sacraments, small-group sharing and more, organizers said.