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    Implementing resolutions approved for social statement on criminal justice

    Posted on August 16, 2013 by assemblynews

    Voting members of the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly approved a series of implementing resolutions accompanying “The Church and Criminal Justice: Hearing the Cries” — a social statement on criminal justice adopted Aug. 16. With a 891 to 22 vote there were 11 recommendations approved, some were amended:

    The recommendations call this church to:

    + call on ELCA members through prayer, discernment, ministry efforts and public action to hear the cries, offer hospitality, accompany and advocate on behalf of those whose lives are caught up in or committed in service to the criminal justice system;

    + call on the expressions of this church and other related ministries and organizations to advocate for system reform consistent with the principles and recommendations set for in the social statement;

    + encourage ELCA congregations to work with victims, victim advocates and victim support organizations to grow in sensitivity and response to the harm caused by crime and to grow in awareness to restorative justice practices;

    + encourage congregations to consider becoming sites of ministry and action for the incarcerated and their families;

    + hold in prayer the ministry of ELCA chaplains and pastors serving in all correctional facilities or serving with law enforcement agencies and to support prison ministry;

    + enlist the aid of leaders in creating and maintaining a resource database in which members, pastors and others can turn to for information that supports ministry to people and action toward reform of the criminal justice system;

    + develop additional liturgical resources for those involved in the criminal justice system;

    + direct ELCA advocacy ministries to coordinate efforts to develop a social investment screen on private prison operations;

    + assess the feasibility of developing a social message on U.S. national drug policy;

    + utilize the recommendations of the ELCA Addressing Social Concerns Review Task Force in the process of disseminating and implementing this social statement; and

    + establish and oversee a process of implementation and accountability for this social statement that provides a report on implementation to the Church Council in 2017.

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