Since February 03 Card. Michele Giordano sent me again as Chaplain to Poggioreale Jails in Naples Italy after I'd been Chaplain in the Prison of Brooklyn (BKDC) New York, for almost a year. In Poggioreale Jail there are, as Chaplains as well, Fr. Tullio Mengon, (Salesian); Fr. Gianni De Ronchi (Opera Don Calabria); Don Franco Esposito.
The first thought that comes across your mind when you see a lot of people in prison living in subhuman conditions for presumed crimes (in the case that they were really guilty) they committed is : Why men as others men, some endowed with authentic intellectual qualities, are forced to invent a criminal activity to survive with dignity.
You only need to look out at the statistics to understand that those who are put behind bars are the poor: non-European, drugs addicted, people with psychiatric problems.
A large number of this people aren’t given even the most elementary human rights.
A lot of people leave the prison angrier and more wicked than before.
A lot of them won’t go out anymore because, even if there is not death penalty in Italy, they die... either because they commit suicide or because of the lack of medicine and good hospital treatment.
As Christian it should be impossible for us not to remember the words of admonishment of Jesus:
"I was imprisoned and you have visited me"