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When I was in prison ...

I found one article in the March issue that holds a special meaning for me, "Go directly to jail" by J. Peter Nixon. I myself am an incarcerated Catholic.

Nixon's article covered a lot of good points, mostly from the view of someone who comes into the prison as a volunteer to visit with us and help us grow in our faith.

I was raised Catholic. As I grew older, I strayed from the church, never leaving my Catholic roots but not growing in them either. After I was incarcerated, I made the decision to grow once again in my faith. I returned to what was the most comfortable to me--the Catholic Church.

I would like to thank all of you in Catholic programs who visit inmates. It means more than words can ever describe. If anyone feels like writing just to say hello or to pass along some uplifting words, please do.

You will find out we are human. We are brothers, fathers, uncles, sons, and husbands. We made mistakes, but through our faith in Christ and our holy Catholic Church we are stronger.

Richard Schippel Jr.

Marion, Ohio

In his article Nixon says "injustice is a soil in which sin plants strong roots." He listed mental illness, learning disabilities, budget cuts, illiteracy. Many of those who are ministered to by members of our parish's jail ministry fit this category.

But Nixon omitted another problem that most of our society and our churches seldom address--drugs. A counselor at the local correctional center estimated that around 90 percent of the inmates were in for crimes connected to alcohol and illegal drugs.

Crime takes a high toll on society, not only in money and other resources but in families. Children are the biggest victims. What about prevention?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I believe this is where religious and secular organizations should put a lot of effort, in addition to prisoner rehabilitation.

Alvera Sams

Findlay, Ohio
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Title Annotation:you may be right
Author:Sams, Alvera
Publication:U.S. Catholic
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:May 1, 2005
Previous Article:Not a done deal.
Next Article:Latin license.

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