Bryan Berghoef

Rev. Bryan Berghoef is the pastor of Roots DC and the author of Pub Theology: Beer, Conversation, and God. You can read his latest at, or follow him on Twitter.

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An Incarceration of Silence

by Bryan Berghoef 04-17-2013
Hands behind bars, Dan Bannister /

Hands behind bars, Dan Bannister /

The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world; one third of those incarcerated are serving long-term sentences for petty, non-violent crimes. One out of three African-American men will serve some sort of time under present law enforcement practices and the current criminal justice system. In Washington, D.C., that number jumps to an estimated three out of four. The United States imprisons a larger percentage of its black population than South Africa did at the height of apartheid.

More than 50 people gathered at Emmanuel Church of God in Christ in southeast Washington, D.C., on Sunday afternoon to hear the Rev. Louis Hutchinson remind them of these facts. Rev. Donnell Smith called the trend: “legalized discrimination.”