Out of sight, Out of mind.
Each night over 8,000 people are locked up in prisons across Scotland: Out of Sight and Out of Mind. Could these be the ‘least of these’ that Jesus talks about in Matthew 25? Here is why they may be:
- The majority of people in prison come from our poorest areas.
- Many will have suffered some form of abuse as children, more often than not ending up in care.
- Multiple traumatic bereavements are common.
- Drug and alcohol addiction are widely used to mask the pain making imprisonment and an early death both more likely.
- Being remanded can lead to homelessness and loss of a job even when a person is not found guilty.
- Prison itself can add to previous traumas especially where people have little or no family support whether by rejection or by bereavement.
This year’s Prisoners Week theme challenges us to get to know more about the lives of people in prison and asking if we care..
"Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them." Hebrews 13:3
Time in prison can offer the opportunity for personal growth. People can discover their gifts and who they are. They can acquire skills and develop their talents, all of which makes it more likely that people will be able to play a part in their community to the benefit of all.
The Prisoners Week Prayer
Lord, you offer freedom to all people.
We pray for those who are held in prison.
Break the bonds of fear and isolation that exist.
Support with your love: prisoners, their families and friends,
prison staff, chaplains and all who care.
Heal those who have been wounded by the activities of others,
especially the victims of crime.
Help us to forgive one another, to act justly, to love mercy,
and walk humbly together with Christ
in his strength and in his Spirit,
now and every day. Amen.
On this website you’ll find Prisoners Week information, a calendar of events, details of organisations that offer help and advice, discussion ideas, reflections, and worship resources which include prayers from the Christian and Islamic Faiths. In every prison Chaplains and those working with them offer spiritual care and the means by which people can explore and practise faith.
Prisoners Week is an initiative of the Churches that aims to stimulate discussion, highlight concerns and share hope.
"What the Lord requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God." Micah 6:8