The Vincentian Reentry Organizing Project anticipated Pope Francis’ recent call for a “System of Justice That Fully Rehabilitates Wrongdoers“
Mass Incarceration is breaking families apart, ruining communities, and leaving us unsafe. We are organizing ourselves, formerly incarcerated people and their families, and other Catholic and faith communities to remove barriers to reentry and to promote safer and restorative ways to invest in people and create safer communities.
The Problem – Our country’s mass incarceration system is one of the largest drivers of poverty, accounting for about 20% of poverty. This is a system that
- costs states billions to operate,
- ravishes communities through over policing,
- leaves victims of crime wanting, and
- criminalizes people in ways that bar formerly incarcerated from employment, housing, and citizenship.
The crisis of mass incarceration system was named in the USCCB’s document, “Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice.” This Bishops’ statement notes: “The challenge of curbing crime and reshaping the criminal justice system is not just a matter of public policy, but is also a test of Catholic commitment.”
The Vincentian Reentry Organizing Project is a partnership between the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and the National Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
Our vision is to create safer, stronger, and restorative communities through systemic advocacy, removing barriers to reentry for formerly incarcerated people, dramatically decreases our prison populations, and investing in people. We are organizing to transform communities and lives. We are bringing together Vincentians, community organizations, and returning citizens and formerly incarcerated people to radically shift our incarceration policies.
St. Vincent de Paul has been the vanguard of addressing people’s basic needs for over 170 years. We are committed by our faith to serve. And when we see injustice, we unite with those impacted to create stronger communities.
We are challenging poverty in America, by drawing on Catholic Social Teaching and the Gospel message of Love and Justice.
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