SOURCE: Center for Restorative Justice Works

Center for Restorative Justice Works

November 30, 2009 09:02 ET

Catholic Bishop Goes to Prison

Guadalupe Celebration at Women's Prison in Corona

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA--(Marketwire - November 30, 2009) -


WHAT:   Parishioners from the Dioceses of Orange, San Bernardino and San
        Gabriel will join in worship with women serving sentences at the
        California Institution For Women. The gathering will celebrate the
        Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Saturday, December 12, 2009.
        Hosted by Bishop Zavala and Chaplain Maryloyola Yetkey, this
        special mass and reception invites those on the "outside" to cross
        over to join women "inside" in prayer, conversation and
        celebration.

        This shared faith experience is being coordinated by Cross Over, a
        program that mobilizes the Catholic community to advocate for human
        rights within the prison system and to build positive relationships
        between women on the inside and those on the outside.  Cross Over
        is a program of the Center For Restorative Justice Works, a
        nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of women,
        children, families and communities separated  by crime and the
        criminal justice system.

WHY:    With over 1.3 million women in the jail, prison, probation or
        parole system, many families understand the shame, stigma and
        separation of having a sister, daughter, mother or friend in
        prison. Nationally, more than 65% of women in state prisons report
        being parents of children under 18, and 62% are sentenced to
        prisons more than 100 miles from their families. Over 70% of women
        in prison were sentenced for non-violent offences, 73% have a
        clinical diagnosis of mental illness, and up to 80% of female
        prisoners report histories of sexual abuse. Catholics are called by
        the Gospels to respond to those in prison. The Center For
        Restorative Justice Works believes that the community has been
        divided by a retributive system of justice that destroys
        relationships, disregards children of incarcerated parents, and
        does not promote reconciliation or hope for positive outcomes upon
        release. Cross Over advocates for systemic change by mobilizing the
        Catholic community to enter into conversation with those on the
        "inside" and transform their awareness about our system of justice.

WHEN:   Saturday, December 12, 2009, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

WHERE:  California Institution For Women, 16756 Chino-Corona Road, Corona,
        CA 92878

THE MEDIA IS INVITED TO COVER

Representatives of the media must receive clearance from the prison prior to the visit. For prison clearance, contact:

PIO:  Robert Patterson              or  Kyrie Owens
      robert.patterson@cdcr.ca.gov  or  kyri.ownes@cdcr.ca.gov
      909 606.4921  phone
      909 393.8061  fax

Contact Information