Monday, July 25, 2005

The "Hatchet Man" -- Redeemed

The NY Times take on one of my favorite people -- Charles Colson ... Charles Colson and the Mission That Began With Watergate Quote!

Mr. Colson advocates "restorative justice," an approach based not on punishing criminals, but on transforming them. It is partly conservative: the Prison Fellowship sees religious conversion as key, and seeks to erode the church-state wall in prisons. But much of the rest of its agenda is nearly indistinguishable from that of the American Civil Liberties Union. The Justice Fellowship opposes mandatory minimum sentences, and it supports expanded training and job opportunities behind bars, as well as more government spending to help newly released inmates.

... and ...

It is tempting to attribute Mr. Colson's interest in prison reform to his own stint behind bars. If a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged, a prison reformer may just be a law-and-order conservative who has spent time in jail. Mr. Colson doesn't entirely disagree. "What I experienced in seven months in prison," he said, "was the total futility of that system." But he insists that his views about criminal justice are firmly rooted in his faith: "The biblical model says the way you deal with offenders is to redeem them."