On Ash Wednesday, Illinois governor Pat Quinn signed a bill banning capital punishment. A member of my congregation offers a powerful Lenten lesson for the year the death penalty was abolished in Illinois.
It's the most wonderful time of the year for
fans of collegiate (men's) sports. I'm not one, but I can appreciate the thrill
of a single-elimination tournament. I also enjoy the creative ways people use
March Madness to bring attention to other subjects.
On March 11, thousands of Egyptians took to the streets to celebrate
national unity and condemn sectarianism. Days earlier, Christian-Muslim
clashes resulted in deaths, injuries and a burned church. What is going
In order to write about the inner workings of a private prison, journalist Shane Bauer took a prison guard position at a Louisiana prison for four months, at $9 an hour. The prison is operated by Corrections Corporation of America, whose CEO made $3.4 million in 2015, nearly 19 times the amount paid to the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. During Bauer’s time as a correctional officer, the federal Department of Corrections temporarily took charge of the prison due to a rash of stabbings among inmates. Thirty-four percent of prison guards suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder, a rate higher than that for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Correctional officers commit suicide two and a half times more frequently than the general population (Mother Jones, July/August).