Wednesday Prayer for the World
APRIL 12, 2023
Our country imprisons more of its citizens than any other country in the world. Someone recently estimated that in the United States there are over 2.1 million people in prison. Unfortunately, at this time, most jails and prisons are ill-equipped to provide the services needed most by a large percentage of their populations, namely, healing of mental and addictive illnesses, learning of positive life skills, and rehabilitation. Jails are often overcrowded, and the majority of the people there have mental and addictive illness, poverty and/or are people of color. Happily, at this time we are seeing prison and jail reform growing to include reform of the whole criminal justice system, including and especially wrongful apprehensions, convictions and executions, and punitive attitudes of parole boards.
Mantra: (Taize) Within our darkest night, you kindle the fire that never dies away, never dies
away. Within our darkest night, you kindle the fire that never dies away, never dies away.
Focus of Prayer:
Positive, life-giving and healing approaches/alternatives to incarceration are beginning to blossom in our country today. Two of these programs are in Indiana: one in Huntington on the former Victory Noll grounds and one at the jail in Hartford City. Both seek to break the cycle of recidivism and to provide healing and wholistic programs and resources.
The Integrated Reentry and Correctional Support (IRACS) in Blackford County (Hartford City) provides jail inmates with support, hope and help during and after incarceration. This meant changing the way the county does incarceration through strong community partnerships, collaboration and changing the way they help people find recovery, right where they are, beginning on Day One of their jail stay and following them after discharge.
Huntington County's vision is to provide alternative sentencing possibilities that are not only affordable and cost effective, but also healing and rehabilitating. These possibilities include access to professional help for mental health and substance abuse issues instead of incarceration, a safe environment, residential work release, and other worthwhile programs for developing life skills and supports for healing and change.
Community partnerships and collaboration are a substantive part of each of these programs. Let us in our silent prayer today thank God for these positive developments on behalf of the jail populations and their families and communities!
Jesus, united with your Father and Holy Spirit,
give us your compassion for those in county jails.
Mend in mercy the broken in mind and memory.
Soften the hard of heart, the captives of anger.
Free the innocent; parole the trustworthy.
Awaken the repentance that restores hope.
Assist prisoners' families to persevere in their love.
Jesus, heal the victims of crime who live with the scars.
Lift to eternal peace those who have died.
Grant victims' families the forgiveness that heals.
Give wisdom to lawmakers and to those who judge.
Instill prudence and patience in those who guard.
Make those in jail ministry bearers of your light,
for all of us are in need of your mercy!
Mantra: (as above) Within our darkest night . . . .