The Tendrils of Criminal Justice

What We Know about Criminal Justice

We’ve read the statistics about people in the criminal justice system. We tend to pay attention to programs of rebuilding and rehabilitation. But there are other people impacted by the criminal justice system who are hiding in plain sight. Family members, children, parents, spouses. So many people are left with the struggle of rebuilding a life, often without the support that even those incarcerated have. We often forget that the fingers of the justice system reach far and wide. It’s possible, and probable, that many of us have been touched by it.  

Support for Those Impacted

Luckily there is support for those impacted by it, even if less readily recognized. Organizations like the Georgia Division of Family & Children Services (DFCS) “investigates reports of child abuse; finds foster and adoptive homes for abused and neglected children; issues SNAP, Medicaid, and TANF; helps out-of-work parents get back on their feet; and provides numerous support services and innovative programs to help families in need” (DFCS). There are so many needs that are often involved with the criminal justice system. The need to pay attention to the long-reaching effects are vast.

According to the Georgia Department of Human Services, there are over 11,000 children in the foster system (DFCS). While not every child in foster care is there because of a family incarceration, the connections are undeniable. According to the organization ForeverFam, nearly 6 million children in America have lost a parent to prison at some point in their lives. Organizations like ForeverFam make sure that children in the metro Atlanta area are always surrounded by love, no matter their circumstances.

Grantees and Supporting Organizations

And this is just one example of people stepping up to the plate in support. We have gratefully been able to support grantees doing this work too. Past grantee Central Outreach and Advocacy Center  provides ID services for people who do not have identification when they are released from prison. Other groups like Prison Fellowship also support families that have been impacted by incarceration. There is so much need, but there are so many people and organizations doing their part. By providing dignity and respect, the dream of providing hope for all feels tangible.

We care about those who feel forgotten. And we care about the hidden tendrils of pain. We cannot fix it all, but we can certainly do our part to partner with those who care about moving the arch of the Universe towards justice, to use Dr. Martin Luther King’s words. As we support grantees who care about this work, and find organizations in Georgia to partner with, we find a way to make tomorrow gleam a little bit brighter with hope for those who need it.

Following Christ’s example and the tradition of The Episcopal Church, we partner with Episcopal communities in the Diocese of Atlanta by providing funding, leadership, and resources to enable Episcopalians to lift up people facing poverty and oppression and to achieve significant, long-lasting change in our communities.

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