Eventually, the discouraging reality sets in that your hands are tied and there is not much more you can do to help the incarcerated. The pain really increases when you hear about or see someone that has committed the same crime or worse receive less time or no time in prison as compared to your loved one. Everyday another person is enlightened with the revelation that the legal system and prison system have their own set of rules and dance to their own music.
For thousands of years there has been a major problem with the legal system. In Mark 15:6-15, we see that envy, tradition, politics and influences other than the law caused a murderer to be released and an innocent man to be crucified. The legal system knowingly allowed an innocent man to be killed. On one hand, I’m glad that the legal system was flawed, because if it was a just system Jesus would have never died to save us from our sins. God has a way of taking something horrible and using it for His glory.
Here in the United States, we have another major problem and that is the privatization of prisons. Prison is a business and no one starts a business to lose money. It’s profitable to keep people locked up for longer periods of time. Empty beds are lost profits. On February 12, 2009, the New York Times wrote an article showing Judge, Mark A. Ciavarella Jr., and a colleague, Michael T. Conahan, pleading guilty to wire fraud and income tax fraud for taking more than $2.6 million in kickbacks to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centers run by PA Child Care and a sister company, Western PA Child Care. These youth detention centers were paying judges to send youth to their facilities. These are just the two who were caught.
It’s natural to feel hopeless when faced with these truths, but based on my personal experience, the pain and hurt will subside and you will realize that it is, what it is. Being that the legal system has been flawed for thousand of years it appears that the only thing that will change it is the return of Jesus. The best news yet is that there is something we all can do. Acts 12:5- Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. Prison bars or a flawed system cannot defeat the power of prayer. Let’s follow the example set for us in scripture and pray without ceasing for our loved one behind bars.
If you know anyone that has a family member, friend or loved one that is incarcerated and would like to receive this monthly Newsletter please email or mail their address to us. You may submit their mailing address or email address on our website as well. Don’t forget to read about our coming monthly Bible Study for inmates coming by April 2017, on the website.
If you would like to share with our readers how you deal with a loved one or friend being incarcerated please email us your testimony. We will go through the ones we receive and use some for the Newsletter. Please limit your testimony to one page and include a picture of yourself if possible.
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Yours in Christ,
Pastor Frank M. Bafford Sr.