What We are Doing
Encouraging people to become pen pals with prisoners, partnering with the Church of the Larger Fellowship's pen pal program to help the improve mental health of incarcerated UUs.
This is an important opportunity that aligns with our commitment to social justice and mental health advocacy—the Worthy Now Prison Ministry Pen Pal Program, a ministry of the Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF).
For those who may be unfamiliar, CLF is a Unitarian Universalist congregation without walls, serving individuals who are geographically isolated, incarcerated, or otherwise unable to attend a physical church. It is a vibrant and inclusive UU community committed to reaching those on the margins.
Worthy Now is a ministry of the CLF committed to fostering connections and providing support to incarcerated individuals. The Pen Pal Program is a cornerstone of this effort, offering a platform for Unitarian Universalists to correspond with inmates through letter writing. This program seeks to address the many challenges faced by incarcerated individuals by providing a channel for empathy, support, and shared humanity.
To be a part of this meaningful initiative, all that is required is a commitment to write one letter a month for six months. Your commitment can make a significant impact on someone's life.
In the spirit of extending the principles of CLF and Worthy Now to those within the criminal justice system, we invite you to consider joining the Worthy Now Prison Ministry Pen Pal Program.
Complete information on the Pen Pal program is available at the Worthy Now website https://worthynow.org/pen-pals.
Address Mental Health: Many prison inmates deal with mental health challenges, and your support through the pen pal program can provide a lifeline of understanding and empathy. Your letters may offer solace, encouragement, and a sense of connection, contributing to the mental well-being of someone in need.
Make a Meaningful Connection: By becoming a pen pal through Worthy Now, you have the opportunity to make a positive impact on someone’s life. Through the exchange of letters, you can build a supportive connection that transcends the barriers of the prison system, offering hope and companionship.
Over 100 Inmakes Waiting: Worthy Now currently has a list of over 100 inmates eagerly waiting to connect with a pen pal. Your participation can help address this backlog and provide companionship to those who are seeking connection and understanding.
How to Get Involved:
Sign Up: Visit the Worthy Now Website https://worthynow.org/pen-pals to easily sign up for the pen pal program.
Build Connections: Through the power of letter writing, you can create a positive and uplifting connection with someone who may be facing challenges within the prison system. Your words have the potential to inspire positive change and promote healing.
Make a Difference: Together, we can break down the barriers of stigma and isolation, creating a more compassionate and understanding world.
Thank you for considering this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those who are often overlooked. Your commitment to justice, compassion, and mental health advocacy is a powerful force for positive.
Encouraging people to join in the effort to eliminate harmful use of solitary confinement
The use of solitary confinement has been demonstrated to adversely and seriously affect the mental health of prisoners, leading to psychosis, depression and suicide in many prisoners. The United Nations considers any time held in solitary confinement without human contact for more than 15 days it to be torture. Yet it is often used in our prisons.
The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) is leading an effort to eliminate the use of solitary confinement. Johnny Perez, the Director of NRCAT's US Prisons program, and a former inmate who experienced solitary confinement asks for support for this effort:
"In my opinion editorial published last week in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, I urged criminal justice donors and philanthropists to seize the opportunity to support the movement to end solitary confinement. Having spent three years in solitary confinement myself, I am thankful every day for this movement. Led by torture survivors and joined by our allies in the faith community, we have achieved tremendous gains in recent years, thanks to the support of donors and supporters like you.
NRCAT’s interfaith partners and allies have joined with members of NRCAT’s National Network of Solitary Survivors to contribute to the growth of more than 20 state anti-solitary campaigns. Just this year, 13 states passed legislation that restricted solitary or allocated funds to establish programs that limit the use of solitary. Beyond reducing the numbers of people enduring the torture of solitary confinement on any given day, the work of state campaigns has also led to the closure of supermax prisons built exclusively with solitary cells – highlighting the need to reduce incarceration overall."
We encourage you to learn more and become involved in NRCAT's efforts against solitary confinement. You can find out more at the NRCAT website.
Encourage people to join and contribute to the Mental Health Justice UU Facebook group
More Possibilities ...