Wednesday, September 16, 2015


...where I did some catechetical work. Comment from a young prisoner in his 20s, who has recently rediscovered his Christian faith: "At school, they teach you about all the other religions - Hinduism, Moslems, and everything. But they don't teach you about your own." He attended a standard (not Catholic) comprehensive school. I am aware that many schools do offer a fair opportunity for children to encounter Christianity - but his comment reflects a generally-held view among many 15-30 year olds who come from a vaguely Christian background and feel that they should have been given a much richer introduction to Christianity at school.

Separately, and unrelated to the above, from working in prisons and elsewhere, I've come to understand the first-hand reality of the  terrible disconnection between many people in powerful positions and those who are at the bottom of the social heap. Example:  a typical probation officer today is young,female, well paid, very career-orientated and talks in jargon. Clothing tends to be short skirts, big dangly earrings and slightly aggressively high-heeled boots. It's all look-at-me-I'm-powerful stuff, and it's very much a don't-ever-criticise-me style.   The jargon tends to involve labelling people and actions and ideas and problems, so that everything somehow seems less human and less ordinary than it would otherwise be.The language, style and attitude are most definitely not about service or  neighbourliness.

Down at the bottom of life's heap,  many male prisoners are not very verbal, and are at a disadvantage in the use of jargon. Many might find it easier to talk to a probation officer of their own sex, and perhaps of their own age, or older.  But they do not have this right, which seems a bit unfair.

1 comment:

Dawn N. __ said...

Your making a very good point.