I was interviewed for two articles on prison ministry in the November 3, 2013 issue of Our Sunday Visitor.
The first is
Freedom behind bars: Inmates can grow spiritually even while in jail, thanks to dedicated prison ministry volunteers
The second is From prison to peace: How three men survived incarceration and fell in love with the Faith.
An excerpt from the first article.
However, David Lukenbill, 70, a former career criminal who founded the Lampstand Foundation, an apostolate that provides written materials and resources to agencies involved in prisoner re-entry programs, told OSV that prison ministry can be difficult for laypeople without a background in law enforcement or prior criminal activity.
You need people who understand that there is evil in the world and some criminals are really evil people,” said Lukenbill, who spent about 12 years in federal and state prisons for thefts, robberies and assaults. Lukenbill believes the Catholic Church’s intellectual tradition is the only antidote to the criminal mindset.
“As a volunteer, you need to figure out who’s hustling you and who’s real,” Lukenbill said. “That’s not easy. You have to verify things people tell you. You need to find out what they’re in for, the details of their crime. Protect yourself, keep an arm’s length. Criminals lie and criminals will use you. Criminals will tell you anything. A lot of them are very good at it.”