"So it isn’t complicated to draw the line from that struggle to the struggle of the most oppressed group in America: the prisoner class.
The prisoners in this country, as you know, make up the largest prisoner group in the world. America confines more people than any single country at a higher rate and a higher—and the largest number.
Fifty percent of those prisoners, or nearly 50 percent of them, are black men.
And so, we have to ask the question, how did that come to be?
Either the black men are the only people—when we consider that we black people make up approximately 12 to 13 percent of the overall population and yet almost 50 percent of the prison population, we have to ask the question, is this the result of some genetic flaw in black people? Are we obviously some sort of criminally minded? Or is there something wrong in the scheme of things?
Obviously, the latter is what I would say. And so, I’ve committed myself to bringing people out of prison."
Elaine Brown, on Democracy Now!, 12/14/10
The Brockport Unitarian Univeralist Fellowship in Brockport, NY, has a small prison ministry. If your congregation has a prison ministry, please leave a comment or contact me off line at firstname.lastname@example.org.