House Appropriations Committee Honors the Late Chuck Colson with Task Force on Federal Corrections

FY 2014 Bill Names New Bipartisan Task Force for Founder of Prison Fellowship, Justice Fellowship & Colson Center for Christian Worldview 

The U.S. House of Representatives' Appropriations Committee has approved the FY 2014 spending bill that funds the Departments of Commerce and Justice. One highlight of the bill is the establishment of the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections to increase public safety, improve offender accountability, reduce recidivism, address victims' services and control costs.

Colson, who died in 2012 and was formerly a special aide to President Richard Nixon, was incarcerated for his role in Watergate. Although Colson's power and pride crumbled following his involvement in Watergate, his Christian faith was strengthened and he vowed never to forget the prisoners he left behind. He went on to found Prison Fellowship, Justice Fellowship and the Colson Center for Christian Worldview after his release from federal prison.

"Chuck mobilized the Church to bring the transforming love of Christ to millions of prisoners and their families in the United States and around the world," said Justice Fellowship President Craig DeRoche."Addressing the injustices within the criminal justice system was a natural extension of his ministry to the men and women within prison walls. It would please him that a task force is being created to compile data and make recommendations as to which policies and laws will advance justice and improve the effectiveness of the federal corrections system."

In 1983, Colson founded Justice Fellowship, the advocacy arm of Prison Fellowship, to reform the justice system according to biblical restorative justice principles so that communities are safer, victims are respected and offenders are transformed. Colson and Justice Fellowship played a leading role in working with members of Congress to pass groundbreaking justice reforms, including the:

  • Religious Freedom Restoration Act
  • Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
  • Prison Rape Elimination Act
  • Fair Sentencing Act and the Second Chance Act
     

Colson's vision of a justice system that promotes both accountability and redemption has left a lasting impact on the hearts and minds of members of Congress, many with whom he forged close friendships, including chairman of the House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations subcommittee, Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Va.).

"I am pleased to see the legacy of a great friend continue through the prison reform provisions in this year’s Commerce-Justice-Science spending legislation in what will be known as the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections," Wolf said. "Chuck made arguably one of the biggest impacts on prison reform following his own incarceration, and his kind heart, strong Christian values and committed work will live on through the Colson Task Force at a time when it’s needed most. Our prisons are overpopulated, dangerous, expensive and violent, but by channeling Chuck’s impactful work and focusing on the differences made through Prison Fellowship and Justice Fellowship, we are bound to see positive change in our prison system."

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