John Santa initial went to jail in 1997. He wasn’t there since of any crime he had committed. He went to revisit a crony who was portion a four-year judgment for embezzlement, and came divided from that brief confront a ardent disciple for rapist probity reform.
Santa common that story on a latest part of WNHH’s “Criminal Justice Insider with Babz Rawls-Ivy and Jeff Grant.” He told how he went from being a CEO of a successful family-run, Bridgeport-based appetite association to a owner and executive of a rapist probity remodel nonprofit, the Malta Justice Initiative.
Santa said that a extensive pang and clarity of despondency and dearth that he saw among a prisoners during a Enfield Correctional Institution those dual decades ago perpetually altered his life. He pronounced that he is now “serving a life sentence” to a eremite and domestic and munificent goal to assistance a jailed and to revoke Connecticut’s altogether jail population.
In 1996, Santa’s longtime crony and association lawyer, Stan Kennedy, was convicted of embezzling income from his corporate clients, including from Santa. Kennedy was sent to Enfield for a four-year stint.
“I was so confused by this,” Santa said. “I many some-more approaching him to be during a Algonquin Club, carrying a good lunch, and here he is in prison.”
One year later, Kennedy sent personalized letters to Santa and his business partners, apologizing for hidden income from them and requesting their forgiveness.
Santa review a notation again and again. He pronounced that a notation removed one of a elementary beliefs of his Roman Catholic faith.
“Thank God for [my family’s] Roman Catholic Christian faith,” he said, “which taught us how to forgive.”
He motionless to revisit Kennedy during Enfield to improved know how this crony had finished adult behind bars. He was also extraordinary to know what life was like for people in prison, a race he had adult until that indicate had no hit with.
The conditions he saw and a people he met during Enfield perpetually altered his life.
“When we went to prison,” Santa said, “and we looked around, and we saw who was there, we said: wait a minute. These people are sick. Nine out of 10 are mentally ill and/or addicted. They’re poor. We make misery in prison. If they aren’t bad entrance in, they’ll be bad entrance out.”
He pronounced that initial revisit helped him know that state’s ill and bad were conveniently “colocated” in prison. He remarkable that, in a mid-1990s, Connecticut had upwards of 20,000 prisoners jailed via a state.
In 1996 Santa belonged to a Order of Malta, a Gothic eremite sequence of Roman Catholic group and women who work on interest of a ill and a poor. He pronounced a order’s pursuit to assistance a ill and a bad overlapped ideally with a race he saw in prison.
“I went to my friends during a Order of Malta,” he said, “and we said, we know, not for nothing, though if you’re meditative ill and poor, I’ve got some ill and bad for you. I’ve got a lot of them. And they’re all in one place. They’re a serf audience, literally and figuratively.”
When some of his colleagues in a Order balked during a thought of assisting convicted murderers, drug dealers, rapists and sex offenders, Santa’s response was a elementary one: “What do we consider Christ would do?”
He quoted Matthew 25:31, in that Jesus praises his loyal supporters for giving him something to eat when he was hungry, for giving him something to splash when he was thirsty, for looking after him when he was sick, and for visiting him when he was in prison.
“It’s right there, in plain English,” Santa said. “Read it. Hello. If this is what Matthew’s revelation us about what Christ pronounced about a Kingdom, that means that these people in jail are special friends of his.”
In 2004, Santa assured a Order to give him a $25,000 extend to make and discharge Bibles with special investigate guides and prayers for people in prison.
Working underneath a name of a Malta Prison Volunteers of Connecticut (MPVCT), Santa pronounced that he and his colleagues brought The Malta Bible and The Malta Prayer Book to all 20 prisons in Connecticut.
He pronounced that a sequence embraced jail method as a inhabitant work in 2005, and that it now conducts jail method in 37 states and in Canada.
But Santa was not confident with usually operative on building inmates’ faith while behind bars. He also saw a need to assistance them reintegrate into multitude on release.
“Their faith can't means them,” he said. “It will assistance them, though they also need jobs.”
He and his colleagues during a -rder so started a Prodigal Project, in that they spoke with churches, synagogues, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, and other village groups via a state about a knowledge of employing before jailed people.
He pronounced that they spoke with 45 opposite Connecticut organizations about practice after incarceration, though that they were usually means to get one pursuit for one recently expelled inmate.
Santa pronounced he schooled a profitable doctrine from that effort. He schooled that many people in Connecticut were totally unknowingly of a workings and inefficiencies and prejudices of a rapist probity system.
He pronounced that many had no thought about hyperincarceration, about a open costs of prisons, about how a United States is a usually Western nation that still has a genocide penalty.
“We’ve got this mass of ignorance,” he said. “But when a people listened this, when they became informed, they said: this isn’t right. This won’t do. This is no good for anybody.”
Santa pronounced that a goal of a Malta Justice Initiative is to advocate, surprise and preparation a Connecticut open about opportunities in rapist probity reform. He pronounced that they recently published a book, The Justice Imperative, that serves as a kind of messenger to Michelle Alexander’s landmark mass bonds study, The New Jim Crow.
“We are not lobbyists,” he said. “We are advocates. We don’t get paid to do what we do, and we’re not doing this for ourselves. We’re doing this on interest of a means that we consider is important.”
Santa pronounced that he late from his pursuit as CEO during Santa Energy Corporation in 2004, though that he skeleton on operative in rapist probity remodel for as prolonged as he is able.
“To those whom many is given,” he said, “much is expected.”
Previous “Criminal Justice Insider” articles:
- Ganim Describes Path Back From Prison
- Transition Time For Teens In Trouble
- Parole Holds A Key To Reentry Puzzle
- Organizer Takes “Sawdust-On-Floor” Tack
- Female Ex-Offenders Band Together
- German-Inspired Reform Calms Prison
- Son’s Arrest Helped Shape Porter’s Politics
“Criminal Justice Insider” front each initial and third Friday of a month on WNHH FM during 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Listen to a full talk with by clicking on a audio actor or Facebook Live video below.