Catholic Charities USA joins US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Society of St. Vincent de Paul in support of the First Step Act

Alexandria, Va. (Nov. 26, 2018) –Sister Donna Markham OP, PhD, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), joined the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in sending a joint letter to the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary encouraging the passage of the First Step Act to improve the lives of thousands of people impacted by our federal criminal justice system.  The First Step Act includes good measures of prison reform that move people from incarceration to transitioning back into society. The Act also includes meaningful efforts to address unjust sentencing laws.

Catholic Charities agencies, diocesan and parish programs along with the variety of ministries of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, work with millions of people on the margins each year, tens of thousands of whom are somehow involved in the criminal justice system, including victims of crime and persons returning from prison. The ministries are focused on helping returning citizens get training and employment so that, once they have served their time, they have the tools they need to make contributions to their families and their community going forward.

“We know that the system can do better in how it interacts with the root causes of crime, poverty, and lack of community safety,” said Sr. Donna Markham OP, PhD, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA. “As the Church teaches: Punishment does not serve merely the purpose of defending the public order and guaranteeing the safety of persons; it becomes as well an instrument for the correction of the offender . . . . There is a twofold purpose here, ” she said. Read the full letter here.

Advocacy & Social Policy Initiatives

CCUSA's Advocacy and Social Policy team advocates for policies that uphold human dignity and promote integral human development. Informed by the experience of local Catholic Charities agencies, the team urges policy makers to encounter the needy and vulnerable in their communities and to create policies which assist and support them.

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ABOUT CATHOLIC CHARITIES

A member of Caritas Internationalis, Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is the national office for Catholic Charities agencies nationwide. Catholic Charities USA’s members provide help and create hope to more than 12 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds. To learn more about CCUSA, please visit our website at www.catholiccharitiesusa.org.

Catholic Charities USA joins US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Society of St. Vincent de Paul in support of the First Step Act

Catholic Charities USA, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul sent a joint letter to the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary encouraging the passage of the First Step Act. According to the letter, the First Step Act includes good measures of prison reform that move people from incarceration to transitioning back into society. The Act also includes meaningful efforts to address unjust sentencing laws. Read the full letter here.