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To: All clergy and religious, parish communicators, social action ministers, prison ministers, respect life ministers
From: Deacon Dennis Dorner, Director; Office of Life, Dignity and Justice
Governor Brian Kemp has declared July to be Reentry Awareness Month in Georgia. The Archdiocese of Atlanta supports the governor in this work to highlight the successes and challenges of reentry into society by formerly incarcerated individuals.
Reentry even after a short period of incarceration can carry with it a host of collateral consequences, including lowered employability, disruptions in relationships on both an inter-personal and communal level as well as returning to environments that may not support the goals of transformative incarceration.
All of the consequences of incarceration and reentry, in addition to interwoven systemic issues like racism, mental health stigma and drug addiction, contribute to the scourge of mass incarceration we face in our state and nation.
The Archdiocese of Atlanta is committed to disrupting mass incarceration and the social injustices that contribute to it. To that end, we are collaborating with Ending Mass Incarceration, a national multifaith initiative spearheaded in Georgia by Ebenezer Baptist Church and The Temple. Through naming and disrupting injustices like racial bias, excessive sentencing laws and socioeconomic inequality we can end the damage inflicted on individuals, families and communities by mass incarceration.
Over the course of this month, we will share information via social media about the work we are doing at a diocesan level on these issues as well as actions all the faithful can take to support successful reentry and to fight injustice.
For more information about the archdiocese’s work on restorative justice and ending mass incarceration, contact Jayna Hoffacker, Associate Director of Justice and Peace Ministries, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-920-7898.