New Prisons Report

Posted: 18 July 2019 in Prisons
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Prison wing.jpgThe Chief Inspector of Prisons Annual Report was out last week. Don’t fancy reading 124 pages but want the headlines to think and pray about?  Well, today Prison Fellowship highlighted a few quotes from the Report and invite us all to pray over:

“Safety is still a major problem. Levels of violence had increased in more than half the prisons inspected.”
►God of peace, may Your peace prevail in our prisons, and may a spirit of calm to pervade every room and hallway. May the conflict, hopelessness and addiction that fuels the violence be addressed and transformed.

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Noah funeral 4b.jpgTwo funerals this year so far; one shocking, one elegiac. Both with foreign condolences; one military, the other medical.  Both with plenty of food after; one pushed down with tea, the other with vodka.  Both with memories of lives lived; of 11 weeks, and of 96 years.  Both funerals are worth a thought.  But I’ll tell you of baby Noah’s now.

How can a funeral capture both the sense of loss, the genuine loss; and the sense of hope, confidence?   And also a mysterious third dimension- that it is better to have genuinely loved and lost, is better than never having loved at all, so never suffered the loss?

Lament
This funeral did work us for the tears: ♫Benedictus, Karl Jenkins; ♫Jealous of the Angels, Katherine Jenkins; ♫ Brahms’ Lullaby, Celine Dion. Read the rest of this entry »

Phone daze.jpgAfter the honeyoon, comes the fall back to earth.  My new companion always wants to chat in the middle of the night.  Wants to know what I’m up to and will never switch off.  And there’s jealousy in the family too.  My wife tells me I prefer the new phone to her (“exchanging for the latest model” takes on a new meaning).  Notifications: were a major the enemy.  Chirps and squeaks at all hours.  WhatsApps from Haiti, when their 10pm rumination caused my phone lighting up and tinkling at 4am.

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Police Body Video.jpg

Smile -here- for the (police) video

“You are being watched”.  Does your behaviour change?  Try asking that when your car approaches the speed cameras on the trunk road.  We know what the norms are.  But we conform when being watched.  Or so the police themselves have found.

A Cambridge University study has found that police body cameras can dramatically reduce the number of complaints against officers.   It showed complaints by members of the public against officers fell by 93% over 12 months compared with the year before.  Almost 2,000 officers across four UK forces and two US police departments were monitored for the project. Dr Barak Ariel, who led the research, said no other policing measure had led to such “radical” changes. Read the rest of this entry »

2_Stacey-Dooley.jpgStacey Dooley – “White Saviour” in Uganda. ?
Bill Lovett – “White Saviour” in Uganda. Really?
The charity I work for -“White Saviours” in Uganda/South Sudan. Really? Really?

The fuss has gone, but the issue remains.  Was Stacey Dooley, and so many other white folk flying in to “do good” actually do bad.  Reinforce racial stereotypes.  Emote.  Post “look-at-me doing good” pics on FB and Instagram.  Then fly off, leaving those village Ugandan’s no better off whatsoever.

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Tay_bot_logo.jpgThe trendy fashion retailer, Rag & Bone, held their latest show on Saturday, entitled “A Last Supper”.  Instead of Jesus hosting they promised a robot, to entertain the New York celeb guests with witty conversation.  In the end, as dinner was served, a projection on the wall displaying a “3D point cloud” of guest’s actions as processed by an artificial intelligence system, with voice and dance displays managed interactively.

Managed?  Clever, though not “Artificial” but human.  And the “Intelligence” was not machine created, but human made. Read the rest of this entry »

web3-gaurdian-angel-public-domain.jpgMy grandson surprised me a few weeks back.  We were drawing “spooky” drawing, when he suddenly turned and told me ghosts did not exist.  Well do I agree, so he does not have nightmares?  But then condemn his imagination to sterile literalism?  Is what exists, only what you can see, measure, touch?

It’s not true either.  Beyond sight there’s a world of spirits, unusual presences (which we give names like angels, demons, archangels).  And beyond them – God.  Kids see or sense more than we do.

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