In each of today’s Scriptures, prophets are placed in prison—Hanani for confronting King Asa about a questionable treaty with the King of Aram, and Jeremiah for being unpatriotic. Hanani was placed in stocks and Jeremiah was thrown into a cistern (and left to starve to death). Prisons are usually part of a larger apparatus of social control and oppression.
What are some current examples of the use of prisons to control political dissent or to oppress groups of people?
“Nowhere in Scripture do we find a divine endorsement of prisons [as a place of punishment].” So wrote Mark Olson in an article published in “The Other Side” magazine. He went on to write, “Never, ever, in any part of the Bible are prisons part of God’s way. Always they are used to oppress. Always they are an affront to the divine. There are no good prisons. None”
Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Explain. How has this year’s Compact challenged your view of prisons and how we treat prisoners?