"In the very first month in his official capacity, Pope Francis visited a juvenile detention facility where he washed and kissed the feet of the youth. During his upcoming visit he will again follow Jesus’ teaching to “remember those in prison” by visiting a prison in Philadelphia. On Sept. 24, he will give his address to Congress.
Many members of Congress have been pushing for reform of the criminal justice system, and the federal prison system in particular. For example, the Second Chance Reauthorization Act has been introduced; it would help continue funding of reentry programs for people returning home from prison. The House and Senate Judiciary chairmen have also indicated plans to introduce legislation addressing federal sentencing and prison programs. This growing momentum is exciting, but we’ve yet to see a comprehensive criminal justice bill pass through to President Obama’s desk.
The pope’s address is a key opportunity for members of Congress to hear why they should act on criminal justice legislation that makes communities safer, respects victims, and transforms people with criminal records. Will you urge the pope to include criminal justice reform in his address? If you fill out the below form by Aug. 31 at midnight, we will make sure your letter is delivered to the pope prior to his address to Congress.
Please write a brief letter to the pope telling him 1) to please include federal sentencing reform, federal prison reform, or support for nationwide reentry programming in his address to Congress and 2) why it matters to you, your family, or your community that Congress pass reform that supports restorative justice."