Underground Ministries

Prisoner Relationship, Resurrection & ReEntry

MASS INCARCERATION

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You’ve heard the phrase a lot by now. What does it mean?

2.4 million humans in America are incarcerated. Check out the graph below for how this compares to other nations.

We have a massive problem with throwing human beings away. Our human dumpster system has become unsustainable.

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Jesus calls his followers to practice resurrection. How do we practice that as Christians today, with 2.4 million fellow humans buried in a human landfill system?

Now that we know somebody who’s underground, in that system, it is essential for us to learn about the larger history behind it. We learn the history of the “tomb system,” so to say, that we are approaching as a team. We get more familiar with the institutional “stones” we will help roll away between us and the Lazarus hoping to come back to the land of the living.

Luckily, our nation is waking up to this mass error of ours—both liberals and conservatives. So there’s a wealth of material coming out to illustrate the history. Especially video material. So we don’t have to.

Take some time this month to watch these three videos. They are outstanding.

Use the questions at the bottom for discussion.


MASS INCARCERATION: THE BASICS

The short version. Like four minutes.


13th: THE DOCUMENTARY

Watch the trailer to the tour-de-force Netflix documentary laying out the history of slavery and racism that built the modern mess of mass incarceration that’s finally scaling down today.


REVOLVING DOORS

Fifteen years after he left prison, Jason Bobbitt found himself headed back. The father of five tried to find honest work once he got out, but couldn't-getting nabbed on the exact same cocaine charges that first landed him behind bars.

FOR DISCUSSION

  • It will be easy to forget the relationship you have with one person, and get fired up about (or debate) this huge social problem. How do we avoid that? How do we let this overwhelming reality break our hearts and focus our attention on the one person we get to know and love, leaving this underground system?

  • Imagine: What if every one of the 2.4 million men and women locked up in America had a team of people in their home town who got to know them . . . the way you are now? If every person had new relationships with community members—church members!—visiting them, growing to love them, struggling through big questions while supporting their reentry? How might that revolution in relationship change the national situation?