Jesuits Welcome Decisions on Juvenile Sentencing, Solitary Confinement

The Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States has welcomed decisions by President Obama and the U.S. Supreme Court this week making significant reforms to the criminal justice system. On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Montgomery v. Louisiana to ban mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juvenile offenders. Also that day, President Obama issued executive orders to ban the use of solitary confinement for juvenile offenders in federal prisons. Referencing Pope Francis's address to U.S. Congress in September, in which he said that a just vision of punishment must include the possibility of rehabilitation, the Jesuits said the decisions will "improve our nation’s justice system for the better."

PODCAST: Previewing the Jesuit Conference’s Advocacy Issues in 2016

In this week's episode of the Ignatian Solidarity Network Podcast, we are visited by two guests from the National Advocacy Office at the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States to preview the issues that they will be taking up this year. Policy Director Shaina Aber and Policy Associate Matt Cuff joined ISN executive Christopher Kerr by phone from their offices in Washington, D.C. to discuss the recent raids of Central American migrants in the United States, prospects of reform to the criminal justice system, the minimum wage campaign, and more.

Jesuit Volunteer Reflects: Advent in Prison

For the first time in my life, I was inside a prison. So far, my placement as a Jesuit Volunteer with the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth had only included long distance communication with these men, primarily through letters and a few phone calls. After two months with the campaign, it was time to make my first visit to a correctional facility.