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Justice & Advocacy - an affiliate website of The Lehigh Conference of Churches

The Heart of Justice – What’s Next?

About 85 people were part of the conversation at “The Heart of Justice” event on November 9 at Sacred Heart Hospital Conference Center. Look for occasional updates here and monthly reports in the Ecumenical Encounters newsletter of the Lehigh County Conference of Churches.

Several churches and other organizations are planning book study or discussion groups, or/and screenings of the documentary “Broken on All Sides” – starting early 2014. Already in planning are:

  • A criminal justice study group at New Hanover United Methodist Church;
  • the LEPOCO Book Club will discuss Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 6:00pm at the Bethlehem Wegman’s. For more details, contact LEPOCO;
  • and we’ve heard of tentative plans from several other groups.

But there’s more …

  • The Justice & Advocacy Committee has tentative plans to organize another event (fall 2014) on criminal justice system / restorative justice; and our spring Food/Hunger event with Bread for the World (“Ending Hunger in America” – April 26, 2014) is expected to include at least one workshop on issues faced by “returning citizens.”
  • DecarceratePA is planning for a return trip to Allentown in 2014 and for a statewide Decarcerate meeting in April 2014.
  • LEPOCO, which was represented by at least a dozen members at the Nov. 9th event, has decided to join the coalition of organizations supporting DecarceratePA.
  • Several workshop participants have committed themselves to daily prayer for people in prison or to other forms of support for prisoners, their families, or returning citizens. People in prison who have no family ties or support are especially appreciative of letters from anyone.
  • Of course, talking about what’s broken is not the end goal. We need to fix what’s broken! But change starts with understanding what is broken, how it affects us, and what the alternatives are.

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