Cruel & Unusual

The True Costs of Our Prison System

A decade ago, in November 2000, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a pastoral statement titled Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice. Unapologetically critiquing a criminal-justice system focused primarily on punishment, the bishops called the American response to crime “a moral test for our nation and a challenge for our church.”...

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About the Author

Robert DeFina is a professor in the Sociology Department at Villanova University. His teaching and research interests include labor markets, poverty, and social inequality. He is co-editor of the Journal of Catholic Social Thought.

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