Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More on the Penal Tour de France

The prisoners wear all white for the tour. Only seven will complete the entire route, the rest will get sub'd out during the course to allow greater participation. Of course there are risks, but I think we can safely assume they've done their best to mitigate them. In the scuttlebutt over this event, I frequently read the attitude that prisoners don't deserve this sort of consideration, that we should focus on the law abiding members of society. And that well may be. But how does a warden do that? How else can the administrators of a prison system focus on the law abiding but through careful consideration of their prisoners?

What most strikes me, though, is the opportunity to create so much hope. To consider the crimes of these prisoners outside the context of our own lives is to ignore the profound impact we all have on one another. And it eliminates the possibility to prosper from their rehabilitation, from their redemption. Hoping in them, restoring their hope in themselves, doubly expands humanity by reducing the ugly things in this world and increasing the beautiful.