Only The Lord Can Change Hearts and The Stats In Prison
This ad is funny…But not fun when the rise of number of women incarcerated continues to be on the rise since the 80’s. Most of them have drug convictions or violations. Look at these stats [source: Women's Prison Association]:
~ Over 200,00 women are in prison and jail in United States. More than 1 million women are under criminal justice supervision
There were 115,779 women incarcerated in either state or federal prisons at midyear 2008
• The average daily adult female jail population at midyear 2008 was 99,175
• At year end 2007, there were 987,427 women on probation, representing 23% of the total probation population.
• Women represented 12% of the parole population (98,923 women) in 2007
The number of women in prison has grown by over 800% in the past three decades
• The female prison population grew by 832% from 1977 to 2007. The male prison population grew 416% during the same time period
• Oklahoma has the highest female imprisonment rate at 134 per 100,000 women. Massachusetts has the lowest rate of female imprisonment at 13 per 100,000 women
Two thirds of women in prison are there for non-violent offenses, many for drug-related crimes.
• Twenty-eight percent of women in state prison at year end 2005 were sentenced for drug offenses. Property offenses accounted for another 28% of the female state prison population.
Together, property and drug crimes – non-violent offenses – make up nearly 2/3 of the population of women in prison. At yearend 2005, 35% of women in prison were convicted of violent offenses
• Over 2.5 million women were arrested in 2007, accounting for nearly a quarter of all arrests. The arrests of women increased nearly seven percent from 1998 to 2007
• In the five-year period from 2003 to 2007, arrests of women for drug violations increased 29%, compared to 15% for men
Remember them in your prayers and ask God to transform the lives of these inmates, both women and men.
Change in our hearts only comes from the Lord. Nothing or no one else can.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 - “26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” [NIV]
1 Peter 3:8-10 - “8Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 9Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.” [NIV]
Luke 6:35- “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” [NIV]
The Attacker (5/15/09)
The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies.
Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.
Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.
All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.
When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.
The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.
When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.
[Source: Life Application Bible]:
We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.
“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14
Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].
Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.
Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.
Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].