I list Shawshank Redemption as one of my favorite movies of all time. I am not going to retell the movie, but the scene that jumped out at me was the one where the character Brooks, played by James Whitmore snaps and cuts a guy when announced that he would be released. Ultimately he could not manage in the outside world and hung himself. Red, Played by Morgan Freeman, in response to Brooks outburst, declared him to be institutionalized.

I have relatives that upon release landed themselves back in the prison system not long after. This leads me to question the idea of prison as we know it. As a child I would have given money to be sent into my room versus being chastised with a belt. That belt hurt, made me think about doing wrong before I did it. I attribute the saving of my soul from prison, and an early grave to effective and painful chastisement.

Taking mean and evil people off of the street is a way to make the streets safer. Putting them into a facility expecting the evil to wear off with time is not. My suggestion is not that locking evil people is up is wrong; my suggestion is that, like punishment as a child, maybe there needs to be some pain involved.

I was working out at a public gym one time and overheard this rather large gentleman talking about his physique. His upper body was large, but clearly his legs had been neglected. He was fresh out of the penitentiary. The huge upper body was created behind bars. Tax payers paid to be safe for a season, but along with the paid vacation, an evil individual is given the time to regroup, create strategies of how to not be caught if given the opportunity again. They also build their bodies to be weapons that can withstand attacks by shanks inside the walls, and to be unstoppable by the average citizen on the outside.

I want to avoid sounding heartless; however, my role as a husband and father is to lead my family. As a leader I want to raise my children in a safe environment. Thinking about something harmful being done to them makes me cringe. While prison seems to be ineffective in certain instances, I support the purpose of prison in theory. Again, I understand that given the location of the prison an inmate may become barbaric as a way of surviving the inside. On the other hand ensuring safety is my mandate.

Let me paraphrase this scripture: a person that obeys the law has no reason to fear it. Officials were called to minister the law. Though there are imperfections, and countless lives have been taken, law enforcement is ministry. Pray for justice if you trust God for change.



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