Prisons Committee (2010)
Purposes & Objectives
The Prisons Committee carries out the witness of Friends concerning criminal justice. The objectives of the committee are:
- to foster spiritual development and Quaker studies for Quaker prison meetings and isolated prisoners, through Friends providing prison ministry;
- to provide support focus for the activities of monthly meetings, Quaker prison meetings, isolated prisoners, and individual Friends in the field of criminal justice including legislation;
- to provide outreach and liaison with others in the Yearly Meeting area who are working for the improvement and humanization of the criminal justice system, and with the authorities responsible for administering the system; and
- to educate Friends, the general public, and our public officials on criminal-justice issues.
Functions & Activities
- Assist the quarterly/regional or monthly meetings who oversee prison worship groups.
- Develop guidelines for spiritual advisors and ongoing training for volunteers in prison worship groups.
- Provide financial support for educational and spiritual materials for prison worship groups.
- Study selected criminal justice issues and legislation pertaining to criminal justice and alert Friends of appropriate action.
- Provide contributions and liaisons to organizations working in the criminal justice field.
- Assist in the establishment of college-level programs in prisons.
- Outreach to prison worship group members who are in hospital.
- Provide referral assistance for those coming home from prison.
Organization & Method of Appointment
The Yearly Meeting appoints twelve Friends to the committee for three-year terms on the recommendation of the Nominating Committee. The committee appoints its own officers. It names representatives to the Witness Coordinating Committee and some criminal justice organizations in the community.
Meeting Times & Places
The committee meets during Yearly Meeting Fall, Spring and Summer Sessions, and other at times as arranged.
The Prisons Committee receives substantially all of its financial support from the Sharing Fund.