A Christian’s Perspective

As a man who has been a Christian, attempting to follow the tenets of Jesus for more than two decades, I believe that one of my greatest obligations, which is also a blessing, is to forgive (Lev 19:18; Mt 6:14). By forgiving, all parties can move forward with the goal of healing and wholeness. I believe this regardless of the criminal offense (sin). This includes those who have committed crimes against children, but please know that forgiveness is not acceptance, as there is never an excuse for harming a child.

In an institutional setting, the state legislators and prison officials promulgate laws and rules that all offenders must follow for the protection of society, staff, and other inmates. Among these are restrictions as to who an inmate may visit with and under what custody restrictions. An important one is a prohibition against children visiting with inmates who have been convicted of offenses where minors are involved. What has not been addressed is the situation where the offender is in the visiting room when children of other family members are present. This places the minor in a dangerous situation when it takes but a second or two for the cunning and determined offender to act inappropriately. Whether crimes against children are a mental disorder rising from impulse control issues, deviant manifestations, or violent tendencies, it is the responsibility of all conscientious individuals, Christians especially, not to place stumbling stones or temptations before our brethren, or to place children in dangerous settings. (James 1:14-15; Cor 10:32; Lev 19:16) Therefore, until our mental health professionals and correctional authorities can be 100% certain that an offender will not re-offend; it is in the best interests of children and offenders alike not to be in the prison visiting room at the same time.

Gregory Watson, D-67547
PO BOX 409060, C-15-157U
Ione CA 95640

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