A close friend of mine checked himself into jail a few hours ago after a long legal battle. He’ll be there for ninety days. It’s hard to know what to say in a situation like this. It would be easy to say too much about his particular situation and what I personally think or feel about it. But I’m going to let my words be few and leave it at this collect from the Book of Common Prayer:
Lord Jesus, for our sake you were condemned as a criminal: Visit our jails and prisons with your pity and judgment. Remember all prisoners, and bring the guilty to repentance and amendment of life according to your will, and give them hope for their future. When any are held unjustly, bring them release; forgive us, and teach us to improve our justice. Remember those who work in these institutions; keep them humane and compassionate; and save them from becoming brutal or callous. And since what we do for those in prison, O Lord, we do for you, constrain us to improve their lot. All this we ask for your mercy’s sake. Amen.