The wonderful young men from the Long Creek Youth Development Center who performed at The Culture of Punishment Symposium, put on by Maine Inside Out.
My Summer of writing is well and truly over and I am headlong into my regular Fall routine of speaking to groups across the country. Right now I’m in Ireland and then Scotland, speaking to people in two countries that no longer live in the executioner’s shadow. Most of my talks, though, are right here, back home, where we still have a great need to educate minds and open hearts to what the death penalty does to us, individually and as a society.

In the past few weeks I’ve spoken in Seattle and Wyoming, Delaware and Maine, and points in between. Wonderful events – you’ll find snippets from them scattered throughout the latest issue of our newsletter, Death Penalty Discourse, which will be published tomorrow (you can sign up for it here). I went to San Quentin with a group of 12 California bishops and witnessed the warehousing of humanity. I felt the transformative power of the arts at work with a group of young people from the Long Creek Youth Development Center in Maine. I celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Cherish Life Circle, a New York group that ministers to victims of crime and to people on death row, founded by Sister Camille D’Arienzo.

A snippet about my visit to San Quentin with the bishops:

 

(Photo: The wonderful young men from Long Creek  who performed at The Culture of Punishment Symposium in Maine.)

Every time I am on the road, I am re-energized. There is a thirst for information and understanding and a community of good people doing solid, hard work to end the death penalty and move us towards a more just society.

One way you can help this work is to publicize my talks. You’ll find a list of speaking events in the newsletter and we also keep a calendar of events right here on this site. If I’ll be speaking near you, I hope you can attend one of my talks and – how about it? – bring along a friend or colleague or family member who supports the death penalty or is wavering on the issue.

From the heart,

Helen Prejean CSJ