The Common Good
July 2013

VIDEO: Beyond Bars

by Elaina Ramsey | July 2013

Does mass incarceration serve the common good? Susan Burton speaks out.

I first learned about Susan Burton when I watched her receive an award as one of CNN’s top 10 heroes. Burton, a former drug addict who served prison time, captivated me by the way she never allowed her past to define her. As the founder of a New Way of Life Reentry Project, Burton continues to provide housing and support for more than 500 formerly incarcerated women in south Los Angeles.

Learn more about this extraordinary woman in Sojourners magazine.

Burton remains committed to supporting programs that help formerly incarcerated women break the cycle of repeat imprisonment. Beyond Bars—a project that Burton advises—seeks to curb mass incarceration in the U.S., a problem fueled by for-profit prisons and institutionalized racism.

Beyond Bars produced the following video to help put a face to the problem. After watching it, ask yourself whether mass incarceration serves the common good.

And ask yourself whether you believe in second chances. As a broken follower of God, I know I sure do.

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