Saturday, April 7, 2007

What gets on here

If I was feeling grandiose, I would have titled this "Editorial Policy", but there is nothing so grand around here to match that title. This is simply an explanation of what gets picked for this site, and why. This is a general statement as I can't promise to be completely consistent.

My imagined "target audience" for this site are those people working in the various types of ministry to all those involved in some way in the justice and corrections systems. This usually centers on jail and prison inmates, which is why the term detention ministry is common. But it really should include correctional officers (the preferred term for jail and prison guards), facility management, victims of crime, and their families. It also reaches across almost all conventional boundaries of religion, culture, or geography -- where ever people are in prison and where people have been victims of crime there are people trying to help them deal emotionally and spiritually with their situation. Those of us who work inside work together -- you don't have the luxury of time or resources to engage in partisan conflict, and the governments that run these systems, in many countries, simply will not tolerate it. The distribution of items run here across different faiths will simply come from what I can find in the news. This is currently dominated by Christian, largely Evangelical items, but will include items involving other Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Native American and any other faith community -- if you work inside you will be encountering all of them.

These items will fall into roughly three categories:

  • articles about detention ministry and ministers;
  • articles about certain topics of special interest to detention ministers -- this includes topics such as restorative justice and the death penalty;
  • general news about incarceration facilities, organizations and policies -- generally as lists of links instead of stories.

Which brings up a final topic. This is a digest of the news that I can find, which means that some days I will not find much. Currently I am using a set of searches in Google News and Blogsearch to pull in the raw material. What I can find that makes sense, goes up here, including some minor or local stories, as they provide some perspective, and are important to somebody somewhere. Sources are cited by links to the source item. The amount of original or opinion material that gets posted will probably be rather limited, and will be well labeled as such.

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