One thing that I’ve always been curious about is can we apply the principles of the gospel leading people to repentance and the softening of their hearts to how we handle criminals and out prison systems. Many of the people I meet and share my faith with are felons or people who commit crimes. I’ve seen the gospel and a community of believers really help them. Especially by encouraging them to be own with their congregation. I’ve also talked with many elders and preachers on the importance of applying forgiveness and mercy to not only sinners, but felons. Often I’ve noticed when someone presents the same story but use words like sinner , sin, and repentance they are more quickly accepted than the same story being told as felon, crimes and rehabilitation.
The reason why I always encourage these people to share their story to some degree wit their congregation because until they do, there is always this sort of wall between them. They can’t really feel accept until they know they are truly accepted. It’s scary for them, and it’s also a struggle for their congregation , but most of the time when both are presented with the gospel they will work through it out of love, mercy and forgiveness.
I think that’s why the verses says in james 5:16, “ Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. A prayer of a righteous person, when it is brought about, can accomplish much.”
Science seems to usually show that longer and more harsh sentences don’t work and that post prison punishments tend to result in them isolating themselves and not having financial security by repeated job rejections resulting in their hole of fear that encourages them to fall back into bad practices and back in the system.