Catholic World News

Papal plea for prison reform after dozens die in riots in Brazil

January 04, 2017

After dozens of men were killed in violent gang conflicts in a Brazilian prison, Pope Francis issued an urgent plea for prayers, and for prison reforms, on January 4.

“I invite prayer for the deceased, for their families, for all the detainees in the prison, and for those who work here,” the Pope said after hearing news of the bloodshed in Manaus. He continued:

And I renew my appeal for penal institutions to be places of re-education and social reintegration, and for the conditions of life for inmates to be worthy of human persons.

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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Jan. 05, 2017 9:20 AM ET USA

    Although I have never disagreed with St. JPII's guidance in Evangelium Vitae regarding limitations on use of the death penalty, I continue to question why he used the rationale: "as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically non-existent" (n. 56). This is a specious argument, to my mind, in that no penal system is perfect. Some criminals will not to be reformed and may force their own execution by continuing violent acts.