Solidarity in the Prison

Situation in the prisons
The Poggioreale Facility -Na-
Becoming "criminals"
Witnesses from the Prison
National Conference Volunteers of Criminal Justice






Chaplain in Poggioreale Prison

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.

  "We are still a long way from the time when our conscience can be certain of having done everything possible to prevent crime and to control it effectively so that it no longer does harm and, at the same time, to offer to those who commit crimes a way of redeeming themselves and making a positive return to society. If all those in some way involved in the problem tried to...develop this line of thought, perhaps humanity as a whole could take a great step forward in creating a more serene and peaceful society..."

Pope John Paul II

July 9, 2000


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" (Mt". 25,31ss)

  Fr. Oliviero Bruno