Prison Fellowship Launches Bipartisan Effort to Advance a More Restorative Criminal Justice System
May 25: Members of Congress, State Executives and State Legislators Unite to Form New Faith & Justice Fellowship
Prison Fellowship, the nation’s largest outreach to prisoners, former prisoners and their families, announced today the creation of the Faith & Justice Fellowship, a bipartisan body including members of Congress, state executives and state legislators committed to prioritizing and advancing restorative values in criminal justice reforms. The fellowship’s mission is to build, inform and inspire a movement of policymakers and voters who believe that human dignity and redemption should be represented in our national dialogue on criminal justice.
Motivated by their various faith traditions, members are committed to working with each other to reach the shared goal of restoration for communities, victims and people who commit crimes. The founding members of the Faith & Justice Fellowship include:
- U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop, Mich.
- U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, N.C.
- U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, Texas
- U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, Ill.*
- U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, Ariz.
- U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, Ill.*
- U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, Utah*
- U.S. Rep. Mia Love, Utah
- U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, N.C.
- U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, N.C.
- Gov. Sam Brownback, Kan.
- State Sen. Konni Burton, Texas*
- Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, Mich.*
- State Rep. Rob Hutton, Wis.*
- State Rep. Matt Krause, Texas*
- State Del. Dave LaRock, Va.*
- State Sen. John Proos, Mich.
- State Sen. Cam Ward, Ala.*
Who: Moderator Craig DeRoche, Prison Fellowship’s senior vice president of advocacy and public policy, along with members noted with an asterisk above (state leaders only present on media conference call)
What: Press briefing and media conference call
When: Wednesday, May 25, 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. ET (press briefing) and 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. ET (media call)
Where: Faith & Action building prayer garden (109 2nd St. NE, Washington, DC) and via phone
On-Site Contact: Sara Marlin, 203.561.6976
RSVP: To join the media events in person or by phone, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by 10 a.m. May 25. Those joining by phone will be provided a call-in number.
“Prison Fellowship considers it a privilege to work alongside the Faith & Justice Fellowship to bring about the changes desperately needed in America’s criminal justice system,” said Craig DeRoche, Prison Fellowship’s senior vice president for advocacy and public policy. “These members recognize that no one is beyond hope, including prisoners, and that effective solutions will be based on the principles of God-given human dignity and worth of each individual. We commend them for their commitment to use their influence to make the criminal justice system more restorative for everyone affected by crime and incarceration.”
Membership in the Faith & Justice Fellowship is not an endorsement of specific candidates for office by Prison Fellowship, and members of the group are not required to sponsor or otherwise advocate for specific reform legislation. Prison Fellowship is currently engaged in inviting other like-minded members of Congress and state leadership to join.
During the past four decades, Prison Fellowship has played a prominent role in passing groundbreaking legislation including the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), the Fair Sentencing Act, and the Second Chance Act. The organization has fought for sentencing reforms that: ensure punishment that fits the crime; provide alternatives to juvenile incarceration to keep youth closer to their families; and reduce barriers to reintegration for those who have paid their debts to society.
About Prison Fellowship
Prison Fellowship was founded in 1976 by Charles Colson, a former aide to President Nixon who served a seven-month sentence for a Watergate-related crime. Today, the Christian nonprofit is the nation’s largest outreach to prisoners, former prisoners and their families, and a leading advocate for criminal justice reform. With 40 years of experience helping restore men and women behind bars, Prison Fellowship advocates for federal and state criminal justice reforms that transform those responsible for crime, validate victims and encourage communities to play a role in creating a safe, redemptive and just society.