Volume 33, Number 18 • June 9, 2015

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The Valley Catholic September 23, 2014

 

Monday, July 06, 2015
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Diocesan priest engages in Restorative Justice, prison ministry
Posting Date: 09-24-2013
Father Michael Carson

Father Michael
Carson


By Roberta Ward
Father Michael Carson, former pastor of Queen of Apostles Parish, San Jose, is now working full time in Restorative Justice ministry for the Diocese of San Jose. He has been involved in jail ministry for several years along with his previous parish responsibilities.
He describes Restorative Justice as “a broad umbrella” which supports both victims and perpetrators of crimes. “We advocate for both,” he said, especially with prayer vigils for victims and by advocating healing for victims, perpetrators and the whole community. Those are basic principles of Restorative Justice.”
It is not just about prisons and incarceration, Father Carson explained, or just looking at the perpetrator to be punished. “We teach kids how to transform their lives. I tell youth in juvenile hall that God has a plan for them. Some of these kids have institutionalized their brains and we have to help them to get out of that ‘institution.’”
He works with youth mentoring organizations in which young people are brought together in groups through a project at Santa Clara University. “This has been very helpful,” he said. “We have a community partnership with SCU and our diocesan Office for Youth Ministry is part of that.”
He said, “We need more mentors; we provide the training, and we

also work with the SCU Law School. We are also aligned with SCU in anti-death penalty efforts. In fact, this is headquarters in California for this work.”
Father Carson explained that 86 percent of youth in juvenile hall have no father in their lives – they have left the family, died, or are in prison themselves. “It costs $47,000 a year to keep a person in prison for a year in Santa Clara County,” he said.
The Diocese of San Jose has a Justice Board which meets monthly and engages people in discussion with symposiums and mentoring on Restorative Justice themes.
“Restorative Justice works,” Father Carson stressed. “The criminal justice system is about crime and punishment. Restorative Justice is about who has been hurt and how to heal relationships.
“In Restorative Justice, the victim is central and his/her needs are met. Part of that is working to reduce crime, which includes treatment for drug addicts and other addictions, and helping people to deal with personal problems that cause them to make wrong choices.”
Father Carson said, “Restorative Justice views incarceration as a last resort. Many jails are overcrowded and can only provide punishment” -- incarceration only.
He also noted the disproportionate numbers of Hispanic and African-American youths who are incarcerated.

 
- The Valley Catholic

 
 
06-23-2015 - A message from Bishop McGrath
06-23-2015 - A message from our Executive Editor
06-23-2015 - ADA Holds its Annual Awards Luncheon to Recognize Achievement
06-23-2015 - Reflecting on a Successful Stewardship Seminar
Highlights
News - In The Diocese
A message from our Executive Editor

A message from Bishop McGrath

ADA Holds its Annual Awards Luncheon to Recognize Achievement

News - Community
An Encounter with Christ in the Philippines

Saint Julie’s Community Garage Sale

Our Lady of La Vang Parishioner Ordained a Priest in Chicago

Sections - Youth & Young Adults
2015 Global Medical Brigade Trip to Nicaragua

Young Adult Teaching Mass

Sections - Pope Francis - Encyclical Letter
Statement of Bishop Patrick J. McGrath on Papal Encyclical on the Environment

All creation sings God's praise, but people are silencing it

Sections - Catholic Schools
Bellarmine Educator Honored by Peers

DATA Program Continues as Part of Saint Lucy School's Curriculum

Principal for the Day

Saint John the Baptist School's Student Council Toiletries Project

Jed De Torres has a Blissful Job in the Diocese of San Jose

Cristo Rey Gladly Closes First Chapter in School’s History

Sections - Spanish News
Crucemos el Lago para Descansar Marcos 4,35

La Escuela de Cristo Rey cierra con mucho gusto el primer capítulo en la historia de la escuela

Sections - Commentary
Spirituality – A Primal Understanding of the Eucharist

 
   
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