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Saturday, August 3, 2013

An Author At Buckingham Correctional Center

Buckingham Correctional Center, Dillwyn, VA
Today I unexpectedly met Jens Söring, age 47, a Christian author of numerous books on prisons, while in the visitor area of the Buckingham Correctional Center. Söring has been held for 27 years for a crime he insists he did not commit.

My friend Pete Mahoney and I came to Buckingham to see Steve Colosi, Jr., a strong advocate for the parole option that was abolished in 1995 in Virginia and for the humane release of geriatric prisoners that is allowed by Virginia law but which is rarely utilized.

Steve, about whom I have written a 2/13/13 and a 7/15/13 blog, gave us some fascinating commentary on life inside his prison home. As a poignant example, he pointed out an aging couple at a nearby table. The wife, he said, has been faithfully meeting with her husband every week for over 26 years. He also told us about an invalid 74-year-old whose only family is in Israel, and who has one three-hour visit from them once a year, pretty much the only contact he has with anyone beyond the walls that have confined him for decades.

author Jens Söring
Steve then introduced us to Jens when he showed up at table near us to visit with two of his outside friends. A German citizen, Jens has a website maintained for him by some of his supporters and has become a well known author. His book, The Convict Christ: What the Gospel Says About Criminal Justice, was the first place winner of the Catholic Press Association's 2007 awards.

The following are his six published works in English (three are in his native German) as listed by Wikipedia:

The Way of the Prisoner: Breaking the Chains of Self Through Centering Prayer and Centering Practice. Lantern Books, New York 2003, ISBN 1-59056-055-8.
An Expensive Way to Make Bad People Worse: An Essay On Prison Reform from an Insider's Perspective.
Lantern Books, New York 2004, ISBN 1-59056-076-0.
The Convict Christ: What the Gospel Says About Criminal Justice.
Orbis Books, Maryknoll, N.Y. 2006, ISBN 1-57075-648-1.
The Church of the Second Chance: A Faith-Based Approach to Prison Reform.
Lantern Books, New York 2008, ISBN 1-59056-112-0.
One Day in the Life of 179212: Notes from an American Prison.
Lantern Books, New York 2012, ISBN 978-1-59056-345-8.

For other posts on prison issues click on http://harvyoder.blogspot.com/search?q=jails.

Also, check out this excellent Prisons and Punishment facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Prisons-and-Punishment/395620483880836.
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