We must find a better way to produce people in this great land of ours, and a better way to prevent and deal with bad behavior. Yesterday I had the privilege of visiting for a couple of hours with about 50 men in the maximum security prison at Jefferson City. I was there with 8 others who had gone on the Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. We shared the story of our trip to the men, and had a time to visit with them individually. Each time I take part in this kind of prison visitation my heart is broken. (Bob Pearce, of World Vision, said, ” I pray that my heart may be broken by that which breaks the heart of God.”)
These men were, of course, the “cream of the crop” of prisoners, for they had won the privilege to attend such a gathering by their good behavior. They were neatly dressed, polite, respectful, attentive, and profuse in their honor of us as veterans. They had made for each of us a lap-robe quilt, and gave us a special card signed by many. One of the men there had helped to build PETs when he was in the facility at Moberly.
Two young men with whom I visited said they each had “made a mistake at age 17” and were in prison for life without parole. We are paying about $30,000 a year per prisoner to keep them there, at a probable cost of $1,500,000 for their lifetime.
The USA has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the people in jail worldwide. Other developed counties are doing a far better job of it than we. Surely we can do better!
*** A memo from Von Driggs reports that the container of PETs we sent to El Salvador have all been distributed. A video has been made of their distribution.
*** Our container with 70 PETs and materials for wheelchairs is on the way to Guatemala. In January we will send a volunteer team to help assemble and distribute.
*** The Washington (MO) Overseas Mission is a partner with PET. They work in Honduras and have recently finished a “bodega” to house work teams and receive and distribute the materials from containers. This is similar to the one Hope Haven has in Guatemala.
*** We boxed 19 PETs today, for a total of 41 for the week.
“All you have joy, win and must share it. Happiness was born a twin.” Lord Byron