Would you put Jesus in jail?
There is a new political movement within religious American society that is moving away from the far right conservatism and moving towards the progressive liberal theology of Martin Luther King.
This movement is 30million strong and is much more focused on global warming, anti-war and a deep compassion for their fellow man – which is always what I thought religion should be about – it is good to see that this movement is being carried here in NZ with the creation of this new group.
Groups unite to campaign for punishment without jail
Two Christian groups working in prisons joined forces yesterday to start a campaign to persuade New Zealanders to keep more people out of prison.
The Salvation Army and Prison Fellowship invited all MPs to a meeting at Parliament to hear from a high-powered reference board for the campaign, led by former Governor-General and Anglican Archbishop Sir Paul Reeves.
The Salvation Army's director of social policy, Major Campbell Roberts, said other measures, such as treating mental health problems and addictions, would be more effective in reducing crime than locking offenders in jail.
"We are locking more people away than previously, and for longer periods, but if you said to most people, are they feeling safer, the answer would be no," he said.
"Often the only response that we have to punishment is prison, but there are other options. There are things that are working well. People need to know that."
New Zealand's jail rolls have risen by a third since a tough new sentencing law was passed in 2002, and the country now has the fourth-highest imprisonment rate in the developed world.