We believe a Catholic vision of crime and criminal justice can offer some alternatives. It recognizes that root causes and personal choices can both be factors in crime by understanding the need for responsibility on the part of the offender and an opportunity for their rehabilitation. A Catholic approach leads us to encourage models of restorative justice that seek to address crime in terms of the harm done to victims and communities, not simply as a violation of law.
Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), 2000, #37-38.
“National Crime Victims’ Week (April 18-24, 2021) is a time to focus attention on the needs of our brothers and sisters who have been impacted by crime during the year. In recognition of those impacted by crime, the Restorative Justice Committee of the California Catholic Conference has issued the following statement.
In conjunction with the commemoration of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, the Catholic bishops of California have released a new pastoral resource to help guide pastors in ministering to victims of violent crime. They have also produced prayers of the faithful in Spanish and English.
Detention Ministry: The mission of the detention ministry of the Diocese of Sacramento is to provide a Catholic presence and ministry to men, women and children incarcerated in county jails, state prisons, and youth detention facilities located within our Diocese. How to get involved in Detention Ministry
Get on the Bus: Provides free transportation to children of incarcerated mothers and fathers and their caregivers to 14 California State Prisons for a visit around Mother’s Day and Father's Day. For more information about the Get on the Bus program, click here.
Exodus Re- Entry Mentoring Programs: is a spiritually-based mentoring program accompanying men and women for up to two months prior to release and six months after release from incarceration in Sacramento County correctional facilities.
Catholic Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty: In December 2005, the Bishops launched a campaign to abolish the death penalty in the United States. The campaign web site provides educational materials and resources explaining Catholic teaching on the death penalty, as well as suggestions for involvement.
Restore Justice: An online resource of the California bishops which provides inspiration, hope and resources for anyone who has been touched by the criminal justice system and offers a uniquely Catholic perspective of hope and healing.
Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice: Catholic principles and values call us to: Teach right from wrong, respect for life, forgiveness and mercy; Stand with victims and their families: Reach out to offenders and their families; Build community; Advocate policies that offer real alternatives to crime.