VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 5/7/14)—American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) and American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) join other members of the Faith in Action Criminal Justice Reform Working Group and the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church in encouraging clergy and faith leaders to sign an interfaith letter to support sentencing reform through the Smarter Sentencing Act.
The criminal justice system currently follows harsh sentencing policies that disproportionately harm people of color and those convicted of low-level offenses. By cutting mandatory minimum sentences for low-level, nonviolent drug offenses in half, the Smarter Sentencing Act is a step toward addressing racial injustice and reducing mass incarceration.
“As people of faith, we are called to make a difference and let our voices be heard on behalf of the least of these,” says the Rev. Fela Barrueto, ABHMS national coordinator of Prisoner Re-entry and Aftercare Ministry. “Signing this letter is an opportunity for people of faith to come together and help correct what is harming so many people.”
Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley, general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA, also signed on to the letter and encouraged colleagues to do the same.
The purpose of the letter is to urge the Senate to make it a priority to vote for the Smarter Sentencing Act. At least 130 faith-based organizations have signed the letter.
The letter can be signed online.
For more information about ABHMS’ Prisoner Re-entry and Aftercare Ministry, visit www.abhms.org > Ministries & Programs > Justice Ministries > Prisoner Re-entry and Aftercare Ministry.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community and justice.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.