So often when we talk about criminal justice reform, we talk about statistics and numbers… and overlook the humanity. This week, we’re going to hear a very personal story: Jess Lark, mother of an incarcerated individual in AZ’s prison system, speaks out about her son’s and her family’s experiences.
What does criminal justice reform have to do with separation of church and state?
Given the massive racial disparities of incarcerated populations, you’re likely already aware that the carceral reach of the state — and today’s proliferation of for-profit prisons — can be traced back to slavery and racist Jim Crow policies. But the connections between white supremacy, the prison industrial complex, and religion aren’t always as clear, though religious influence on the current criminal justice system stems back to Christian ideas about punishment and penitence, and ecclesiastic justice . In this series, we’ll explore the common threads that weave these issues together.
Next in this series:
3/24: Chris Phillis, co-director for the Southwest Region of the National Juvenile Defender Center: Juvenile Justice in AZ