Inmate Theologian

Posted: March 18, 2012 by Ed Griffin in Prison
Tags: , , , , , ,

TheologyCall him Charlie, he waited seven years in Pre-trial. While he waited for his trial, he finished his university degree and worked for another one in theology. Charlie wasn’t a Bible thumper and he wasn’t a jailhouse convert, as some inmates get religion to please the parole board. His mother was Anglican and his father, Jewish. Religion ran deep in Charlie.

Prison does not pay for post-secondary work, so Charlie had to raise funds on his own. Course fees, books etc. – he had to pay for everything. A friendly volunteer brought him special journals and papers he needed for his work. And computers in prison are as rare as an animal rights supporter at the Calgary Stampede.

Charlie was sentenced and now has only a few more years to go. He found a university in Wales, UK that had a distance education masters program in theology. He signed up and worked his way through difficult courses and papers.

I have read all his papers and corrected his grammar and logic. I’ve seen the most amazing development in his work – from that of a sloppy college student to a confident professional theologian.

The piggy bank is empty now and he’s struggling to pay for the last few courses and his thesis work.Theology

This scholarly work has changed Charlie. He’s a new man, yet the prison system has not contributed a penny toward his large expenses. To help men like Charlie, I set up a bursary through the John Howard Society to provide funds for post-secondary education for inmates. http://edgriffin.net/bursary.html

educationI don’t get it. Education is the proven way out of crime, but education is not a priority in prisons.

Images courtesy of:

  • tillhecomes.org // theology
  • onlinedegree.net // window
  • onlinedegree.net // eduction
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Comments
  1. Joanne Kehayas says:

    I think it’s great that you set up this bursary, Ed! Every little bit of help counts!

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