Join Dr. Chez Rumpf, Maya Schenwar, Dr. Peter Huff, and Rev. Karen Van Fossan for this in-person session at the Parliament of the World's Religions. Rooted in punitive theology, the carceral system in the United States causes the very injustices it claims to address, particularly violence against women. Yet the U.S. system of punitive justice has long been a prototype for carceral systems around the world, perpetuating economic inequality, healthcare disparities, racism, sexism, anti-LGBTQ+ hatred, and violence against Indigenous peoples. The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution even identifies “punishment for a crime” as a legitimate form of slavery.
This multicultural, multi-faith panel investigates the religious roots of the contemporary crisis and seeks to identify resources within religious traditions that can foster genuine abolition and promote meaningful alternatives to the prison industrial complex. Panelists include feminist faith leaders, scholars, activists, and previously incarcerated individuals representing spiritual and philosophical identities such as Agnosticism, Christianity, Judaism, and Unitarian Universalism.