What would it mean for the criminal justice system to be unjust? And if it is, what should Christians do about it? Dominique Gilliard, author of “Rethinking Incarceration,” talks with Amy Julia about the history of injustice in the criminal justice system, reimagining justice, punishment, and reconciliation in light of the gospel, and practical ways the church can love people who have been incarcerated.
Dominique DuBois Gilliard is the Director of Racial Righteousness and Reconciliation for the Love Mercy Do Justice (LMDJ) initiative of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC). “Rethinking Incarceration: Advocating for Justice that Restores” won the 2018 Book of the Year Award for InterVarsity Press and received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly. Gilliard earned a bachelor’s degree in African American Studies from Georgia State University and a master’s degree in history from East Tennessee State University, with an emphasis on race, gender, and class in the United States. He also earned an MDiv from North Park Seminary, where he served as an adjunct professor teaching Christian ethics, theology, and reconciliation.
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“Restorative justice says that for justice to be made manifest, there has to be a tangible pathway toward restoration for not only the person who has suffered from the offense but also the person who has caused the offense.”
“Do we really believe the things that we proclaim in our congregational spaces, and, if so, how does that inform how we vote, how we live, how we engage in the world at large?”
“Nobody is beyond redemption. If we really believe that the Spirit of God is the resurrection Spirit at work within us and within the body of Christ, then that Spirit who has the ability to bring life out of death has the ability to bring restoration out of people who have caused offenses.”
“When we understand that privilege is something for us to steward, then that liberates us from feeling immobilized by it. It liberates us from actually denying it. We can affirm privilege is real and that we have a responsibility to steward it in a way that furthers the kingdom and loves our neighbor.”
On the Podcast:
- “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander
- Shooting of Kathryn Johnston
- Equal Justice Initiative
- Prison Fellowship
- Season 3 of Serial
- Chicago’s Million Dollar Blocks
- Old Testament gleaning laws
- “Compassionate Justice” by Christopher Marshall
- Bryan Stevenson and Equal Justice Initiative
- 67% of white evangelicals support the death penalty
- Interview with Bryan Stevenson about “Just Mercy”
- Psalm 139:23-24
- Resources from Dominique: What We Can Do PowerPoint and Follow-Up Resources pdf
Thank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.
White Picket Fences, Season 3 of Love is Stronger Than Fear, is based on my book White Picket Fences, and today we are talking about the criminal justice system and Privilege Walk from the book. Check out free RESOURCES—action guide, discussion guides—that are designed to help you respond. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
To go further with Amy Julia:
- Love is Stronger Than Fear | Season 3—White Picket Fences
- AJB Recommends: Books, Podcasts, and Films About Racism and Privilege
- AJB Recommends: The Sun Does Shine
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