Continuing the daily serializations of my 500 page book: The Criminal’s Search for God: Catholic Reformation of Criminals, https://www.amazon.com/Criminals-Search-God-Catholic-Reformation/dp/0989242935/ref .
“Catholic Criminal Justice, the Beginning
“Crime is essentially a theological problem and it is only within theology that evil—the deepest dimension of crime—can be addressed. It is evil which must concern us in addressing crime, and we must recognize that evil rarely reforms, but most professional criminals can and will; given a reason and shown the way.
“The first crime was Cain’s slaying of Abel and the first murderer was punished by banishment—used as long as there were faraway places but with a planet digitally one world, prison is banishment—with a mark so no one would harm him and Cain became a builder of cities where crime grew, even through the deluge its spirit clung to earth.
“The entire Cain-Abel murderous sequence lays the ground for what has followed in the criminal world since.
“We see the anger and envy that desires the others death, the acceptance doing well generates, the separation from God sin creates, and the curse sin lays upon man’s life even to the ground upon which he walks, the mark of protection that Cain’s life may not be taken for Abel’s life, the criminal as eternal fugitive and wanderer, and the building of the city of men, the criminal city, home to the criminal world since.
“Cain, in his greed would not share the first fruits of his work, and Abel, in his generosity shared the first fruits readily. Cain did not know that the spirit of the gift was more important than the flesh of it.
“The first expression of the criminal law that became the fullness of the Church, embracing all Jews and Gentiles entering the Kingdom of God, is found in Exodus 20:22 to 23:33, the Book of the Covenant.
“[Exodus 20:22] And the Lord gave Moses this further message for the Israelites: You stood watching while I spoke to you out of heaven;  it is not for you to make yourselves gods of silver or of gold.  It is enough to build me an altar of turf, on which to present burnt sacrifices and welcome-offerings, of sheep or oxen, wherever my name is honoured; so I will come to thee, and give thee my blessing.  Even if thou shouldst make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stones; to use any tool in the making of it is to profane it.  And when thou goest up to my altar, thou shalt not mount by steps, for fear of exposing thy body’s nakedness.
“[Exodus 21:1] And these laws, he said, thou shalt promulgate to them.  If thou dost buy a slave that is a Hebrew by race, he shall do thee six years’ service, and in the seventh year, without any ransom paid, he shall go free.  He shall leave thy service in the same guise in which he entered it; if he came to thee married, his wife shall go free with him.  But if his master has assigned a wife to him, and she has borne sons and daughters, this woman and her children shall belong to the master; the slave shall go free in the same guise as before.  It may be that the slave, for love of his master, and of his own wife and children, will refuse to take his leave;  if so, his master shall bring him before the judgement-seat, and then fasten his ear with an auger to door or door-post, in token that the man is his slave in perpetuity.  If anyone sells his daughter into a man’s service, she is not to go free on the same conditions as a slave.  The master to whom she has been made over may send her away, if he has no liking for her, but he may not sell her to foreign masters; he has done her despite enough already.  He may betroth her, if he will, to his son; but if he does that, he must treat her as his daughter;  and if he finds his son another wife instead, he must marry the girl off, and give her clothes, and make all amends for the loss of her virginity.  If he is not prepared to do these three things, then she must go free, with no ransom paid for her.
“ Whoever kills a man with intent to kill, must pay for it with his life.  But where there was no malice aforethought, and God provides the occasion, he shall be allowed to find refuge in such place as I shall appoint for thee.  One who lies in wait on purpose to kill his neighbour shall be torn away even from my altar to die.  Death is the penalty for one who kills his father or his mother;  death is the penalty when a man is shewn to have carried off his fellow-man and sold him;  death is the penalty for one who curses father or mother.
“ Two fall out, and one is struck with a stone, or with the fist, not fatally, but so that he must take to his bed;  must the man who struck the blow be held guilty? Only till the other is well enough to get up and walk abroad with a stick; but he must compensate him for his loss of work, and for the doctor’s charges.  When a man beats his servant or his handmaid to death, if death follows at once, he must pay the full penalty;  but if they survive for a day or more, he shall go unpunished; the loss is his.  If men fall out, and one of them strikes a woman who is pregnant, so that the child is still-born, but she herself lives, he must pay whatever sum the woman’s husband demands, and the judges agree to;  if her death follows, then life must pay for life.  So it is to be; an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot;  burning for burning, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.  If anyone gives servant or handmaid a blow on the eye, so that the sight of it is lost, he must set them free in return for the sight he robbed them of;  or if he knocks out a tooth, he must let servant or handmaid go free by the same title.
“ If an ox gores a man or woman to death, it shall be stoned, and the flesh of it is not to be eaten. But the owner of the ox shall be held innocent,  unless the ox has been using its horns for some time past, and he has refused to shut it away when appeal was made to him. Then, if the ox gores man or woman, it shall be stoned, and he too shall be put to death,  unless a fine is imposed on him instead; if so, he shall pay whatever ransom is demanded for his life.  The parents shall have the same claim upon him, whether it be a son or daughter of theirs the ox has gored;  if it has attacked man-servant or woman-servant, the owner must pay thirty silver pieces, and the ox must be stoned.  If a man who has opened an old well, or is digging a new one, does not cover it up, and ox or ass falls into it,  the owner of the well shall pay the full value of the beasts; the carcase he may keep for himself.  If one man’s ox is wounded by another’s, and dies of it, they shall sell the live ox and share the price of it, dividing the carcase of the dead ox between them;  unless it has been known for some time past that the live ox was using its horns, and the owner has not kept it under control. If so, he shall restore ox for ox, and keep the whole carcase for himself.
“[Exodus 22:1] The man who steals ox or sheep and slaughters or sells it, must make restitution at the rate of five oxen for one, and four sheep for one.
“ When a thief is caught breaking into a house, or digging under the walls of it, the man who deals him a fatal wound is not guilty of murder, unless the deed was done after sun-rise.  If the sun be risen, there is murder done, and life must pay for life. The thief who has no money to make restitution with, must himself be sold as a slave.
“ If something stolen, ox or ass or sheep, is found alive in the possession of the thief, he shall make restitution twofold.
“ If anyone damages field or vineyard by letting some beast of his feed on another man’s property, he must make good the estimated loss out of the best crop in his own field or vineyard.  If a fire breaks out and catches among thorn-bushes, setting light to heaps of grain or to corn standing in the fields, the man who lit the fire must make good the loss.
“ Where money or goods entrusted to a friend’s keeping have been stolen, the thief, if he is found, must make twofold restitution.  If he cannot be found, the owner of the house where they lay in keeping shall be brought before the judgement-seat. He must swear that he laid no hands on his neighbour’s property with malicious intent.  Be there a loss of ox or ass or sheep or clothing or any other kind of property, the two parties shall come before the judgement-seat, and the defendant, if he is found guilty, shall make twofold restitution.  If a man entrusts his neighbour with ass or ox or sheep or any other beast for safe keeping, and it is killed or wounded or carried off by enemies, with no witness to the fact,  the matter shall be settled by an oath, which the owner shall accept, that the other did not lay hands on his property; there is no restitution to be made.  But where the loss is due to theft, the owner shall be compensated.  If it has been killed by a wild beast, the carcase must be brought before the owner, and no amends made.  Where a man has borrowed any such beast of his neighbour, and it is maimed or killed in the owner’s absence, compensation must be made to him;  but not if the owner himself was present, and especially if hire was being paid for the work the beast did.
“ One who seduces a virgin not yet betrothed, and beds with her, must give her a dowry and marry her,  unless the father will not give her in marriage; then amends must be made, equivalent to the dowry which a virgin customarily receives.
“ Sorcerers must not be allowed to live.  The man who is guilty of bestiality must pay for it with his life.  Sacrifice is for the Lord alone; he who offers it to other gods must be put to death.
“ There must be no harrying or oppression of the aliens that dwell among you; time was when you too dwelt as aliens in the land of Egypt.  You must not wrong the widow and the orphan;  wronged, they will cry out to me for redress, and their cry will be heard.  My anger will blaze out against you, and I will smite you with the sword, making widows of your own wives, orphans of your own children.
“ If thou dost lend money to some poorer neighbour among my people, thou shalt not drive him hard as extortioners do, or burden him with usury.  If thou takest thy neighbour’s garment for a pledge, thou shalt give it back to him by set of sun;  it is all he has to cover himself with, his body’s protection, all he has to sleep under. He has but to cry for redress, and I, the ever merciful, will listen to him.
“ Thou shalt not revile the powers above thee, or speak ill of him who rules thy people.
“ There must be no delay in paying tithes and first-fruits. Thou shalt make me an offering of the first son that is born to thee,  and with thy oxen and sheep thou shalt do the like; for seven days the dam may keep her first-born, after that it must be offered to me.
“ You are to be men marked out for my service. Meat that has once been tasted by wild beasts shall not be used for food; it must be thrown to the dogs.
“[Exodus 23:1] Never must thou take up a false cry, or join hands with the guilty by giving false witness in their favour.  Never must thou follow with the crowd in doing wrong, or be swayed by many voices so as to give false judgement;  even pity for the poor must not sway thee when judgement is to be given.
“ If thou hast an enemy, and findest his ox or his ass going astray, take it back to him.  Here is one that hates thee, and his ass has fallen under its burden; do not pass by, help him to lift it up.
“ Do not give false judgement when the cause of the poor is tried. Keep clear of untruth. Do not bring death on an innocent man that has justice on his side; I give no countenance to the wrong-doer.  Beware of accepting bribes; they blind even the prudent, and disturb the judgement even of just men.  Do not oppress the alien; you know what it is to be an alien, since you yourselves were exiles in the land of Egypt.
“ For six years together thou mayst sow thy land, and gather the crop from it;  in the seventh year leave it alone, to lie fallow, and give thy poorer neighbours food; all that is left, the wild beasts may eat. And thou shalt do the like with thy vineyard and thy oliveyard.  For six days together thou shalt do the tasks thou hast to do, and on the seventh leave off working; so shall ox and ass of thine have rest, home-born slave and alien that works for thee revive their spirits.
“ Observe all these commandments of mine, and never take an oath by the names of alien gods, or let such names be heard on your lips.
“ Thrice a year keep holiday in my honour.  There is the feast of unleavened bread to be observed; for seven days, in the first month of spring, the month of thy rescue from Egypt, thou shalt eat unleavened bread in obedience to my command. Then thou shalt present thyself before me with gifts.  And there is the feast of harvest, when the fields thou hast sown reward thy labour with first-fruits; and another feast at the end of the year, when the last of thy crops has been gathered in.  Thrice, then, in the year all thy men folk must present themselves before the Lord thy God.
“ When thou offerest living things in sacrifice to me, the bread that goes with them shall not be leavened, nor shalt thou leave the fat of my victims unconsumed till the morrow.
“ The first-fruits of thy land must be brought to the house of the Lord thy God. Seething a kid in its dam’s milk is a rite forbidden thee.
“ And now I am sending my angel to go before thee and guard thee on thy way, and lead thee to the place I have made ready for thee.  Give him good heed, and listen to his bidding; think not to treat him with neglect. He will not overlook thy faults, and in him dwells the power of my name.  If thou wilt listen to his warnings, and do all I bid thee, then thy enemies shall find an enemy in me, and those who shew thee no mercy shall find me merciless.  So this angel of mine will go on before thee, leading thee on into the land of Amorrhite and Hethite, Pherezite and Chanaanite, Hevite and Jebusite; and all these I will destroy.  Do not bow down to their gods and worship them, or follow their customs; sweep them away, and break down their monuments.  All your loyalty must be for the Lord your God. So I will enrich thee with the bread and the water thou needest, and keep sickness far away from thy company;  there shall be no unfruitfulness in thy land, no barrenness; and I will grant thee a full span of days.
“ I mean to make the fear of me go in front of thee, bringing destruction upon the whole people thou goest to meet; all thy enemies shall turn their backs before thee.  I will send in hornets first, to make cowards of Hevite and Chanaanite and Hethite before ever thou goest in. Only I will not drive them out before thee all in one year; that would make a wilderness of the land, and the wild beasts in it would multiply, to thy harm.  I will make them yield little by little before thy onset, so that thou wilt have time to increase, and populate the land.  The frontiers I give thee are the Red Sea and the sea of the Philistines, the desert and the river Euphrates. All the inhabitants of the land shall be at your mercy, and I will drive them out before you.  Thou shalt make no treaty with them, nor with their gods.  They must not share thy territory, or they would persuade thee to commit sin against me, by worshipping their gods; no doubt of it, they will ensnare thee.
“Today, reading this, we can still see the divine wisdom guiding the Jewish people so soon after their freedom from Egypt.
“The Great Commandment is the foundation of all of these:
“[Matthew 22:34] And now the Pharisees, hearing how he had put the Sadducees to silence, met together;  and one of them, a lawyer, put a question to try him:  Master, which commandment in the law is the greatest?  Jesus said to him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and thy whole soul and thy whole mind.  This is the greatest of the commandments, and the first.  And the second, its like, is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments, all the law and the prophets depend.
“Every criminal act is personal, from a person it comes, from an idea shaping action, from desire and want, and as it moves from the person into the world, assaulting our neighbor—whom we have been instructed by the Great Commandment to love—it becomes crime against the justice balanced between individuals and the world, the justice we all have an inalienable right to expect, the God–infused dignity each of us deserves from each other.
“The foundational ideas of Catholic criminal justice are punishment, penance and reform, return, and reinstatement.
“The Decalogue defines the wrong requiring punishment, prison time is the penitential place and program, and reentry—though still being sought in its new manifestations of success, though one can see the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) as a model—the ritual path to communal reentry.
“Many criminal justice scholars, who are attempting to come to terms with their own fear and trepidation about prison, see it as a central animating concept to modern life; and prison’s punishing reality, where the most intimate violation and the terror clouding men’s minds is thus objectified, shaped, and placed within comfortable theories and explanatory ideologies; most remarkably of course by Michael Foucault’s Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison, where he finds elite power as the ultimate and underlying reality of the carceral and the larger world; indeed, the central animating factor.
“From the traditional Catholic perspective on criminal justice, the animating factor is justice. Seeing prison as the shaper of criminal/carceral world values, the central animating factor of Catholic criminal justice is the human being, the redeemable human being, shorn of his terror-creating presence and humble in the sight of God, a quiet neighbor to men.
“We see how the classic expressions of justice from Catholic social teaching and tradition inform different aspects of the criminal path—distributive (fair social distribution of resources, the criminal feels it is his right to steal)—commutative (to each his own)—with the prison as penitential (justice for crime, do the crime, do the time), yet the criminal will rarely consider transformation, and transformative justice (seeing distance from God, spiritual interiority, the relation with our creator as root cause, as the city of men defines the truth as he lives it) and he must learn or, more correctly, be taught and embrace the eternal truth which will lead him out of the criminal city.
“In the history of the saints of the Church we see great transformative stories.
“We know the first criminal to become a saint was Dismas, the Good Thief—crucified on the right hand of Christ—who Christ took with him from Calvary to heaven.
“The first criminal to become a Pope and later saint, was Callistus I who died a martyr but was Pope for five years, from 217 to 222.
“The first Catholic criminologist was surely St. Augustine, who in his developed reasoning around the city of men in his masterpiece, The City of God, essentially lays out the world whose truth criminals embrace in their descent into the criminal/carceral world.
“It is fitting that the United States is a country where Catholic Criminal Justice might form strong roots—for though the term has possibly been used elsewhere, it is most congruent here, in America, where the prison world has grown in ways rarely imagined
“The United States, even before it was the United States was a Catholic land, especially the vast southwestern region owned by Mexico.
“In California, the locus of the American prison system and its most defining metaphor, the first civil governor was a devout convert to Catholicism, the lawyer Peter H. Burnett, who wrote the remarkable book: The True Church: The Path Which Led a Protestant Lawyer to the Catholic Church; Christian Theory, Doctrine and Discipline in 1860.
“Again, the concepts animating Catholic Criminal Justice are original justice, communicative justice, legal justice, distributive justice and social justice
“This understanding of justice and its different aspects embraces the entire range of idea and polices that undergird Catholic Criminal Justice.
“For most of the criminals who know what they are doing is wrong but do it anyway, they justify that crime had to be done as there was no other way to survive. Thus, the truth of the world—all that matters is survival—often dictates criminal actions.
“Sin is ultimately a distance from God and the criminal suffers from his distance from God.
“Sin is of the world and the criminal embraces the truth of the world.
“The criminal/carceral world is ancient, built on cultural artifacts from the beginnings of civilization.
“The criminal/carceral world is understood only by its members and understood most completely by its leaders.
“Punishment for crime is appropriate and penitentially necessary.
“Restorative justice, with its roots in Old Testament practice, encounters the problem of removing the penitential from justice, and, except in very minor crimes or civil violations, it has no provision for punishment in the ancient sense of removal and banishment which the prison serves as the modern equivalent.
“All criminals are redeemable, but not all evil people are, for some who are too hopelessly lost to Satanic evil that only God can free them; not humans, not even humans acting for God.
“Though there have always been Pharisaic movements in the Church to excommunicate most sinners—as during the second century by the purist Hippolytus—there have also always been Popes such as Callistus, the former criminal, to resist them and keep the Church always balanced on the fulcrum of love Christ set as the foundation stone.
“Redeemed professional criminals who have served at least five years in maximum security prisons, and after release transformed their life through higher education, training in grassroots organizational management, reconciliation or conversion to Catholicism, and educated in Catholic social teaching—those I call deep knowledge leaders—are the only individuals with the experience, passion, dedication, and criminal/carceral world knowledge, able to develop and manage programs that transform other professional criminals (those who commit crimes for money representing the majority of criminals) effectively.” (pp. 83-96)