The First Step Act, Chuck Colson, and the Churchs Work of Restoration


I'm old enough to remember that time way back in two thousand, eighteen when Democrats and Republicans worked together. Really it happened and resulted in a major bipartisan criminal justice reform bill called the first step act which sought to reduce the number of people in overcrowded federal prisons and improve conditions for those behind bars. When he endorsed the bill President Trump said this we're all better off when former inmates can receive and re enter society as law abiding productive citizens at last month's Republican National. Convention Ivanka trump called the first step act the most significant criminal justice reform of our generation? I don't think that's an overstatement. A major feature of this bill is that it reduces mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders, especially low level nonviolent offenders, and for those already serving time for crack cocaine related offenses the reductions were retro active in just its first year. First Step Act has literally changed thousands of lives according to a recent report from the United States sentencing commission the sense is. More than seven thousand Federal Prisoners Dean able to safely return to their communities were reduced as the libertarian publication reason rightly noted the first step to act as a modest but very real first step towards comprehensive criminal justice reform and I'd add that as part of the legacy of Chuck Colson and the very good work of prison fellowship, this bills and example of the Church's work of restoration. God us. Chuck Colson to transform the way that many political leaders especially conservative political leaders thought. About criminal justice while imprisoned chuck learn just how empty and even counterproductive the lock them up and throw away the key rhetoric that he wants espoused really was the call that God then placed on Chuck's life was to bring the Gospel to prisoners and their families through prison fellowship but that quickly expanded to include prison in criminal justice reform. He quickly realized that being tough on crime was pointless unless we were first smart about crime being smart about crime lead Chuck to campaign against. The three strikes and you're outlaws that swept the US during the nineteen nineties he knew that such laws would only lead to overcrowded prisons, unaffordable system building and maintenance, and eventually the court ordered releases of thousands of prisoners because of political pressures instead of Prudential Wisdom, we've seen some of that even recently God use Chuck Solid, conservative Christian and law and order credentials to advance this new message people who may not have given other activists. The time of day respectfully listened to him many. Hearts and minds were changed not just because of Chuck Colson Passion or is incredible ability to articulate. But because he took people with him back into prison to see for themselves, what he saw to borrow modern fraiche chuck move the Overton Window in other words that acceptable range of policies politically acceptable to the mainstream population and so decades later years after Chuck Olson's death at a time of deep and painful political division. The first apt act garnered bipartisan support, Chuck's legacy of giving people. The moral permission and the intellectual justification to do the right thing in this area is something that Christians should seek to emulate in every aspect of life and culture. Of course if we're going to do this, we have to I know what the right thing is, and then we have to learn to talk about issues in ways that might be heard about a year ago that vision drove us to launch. What would you say a video resource designed to help Christians Converse on our? Culture's most challenging questions. Now, our personal stories might not be as dramatic as Chuck Colson was, but we can still strive for the same humility

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