Hannah Bowman is a graduate student in religious studies at Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles, a literary agent, and a prison abolitionist. The founder and director of Christians for the Abolition of Prisons, she writes and teaches on the Christian theology supporting abolition; she is also a circle coordinator for the Los Angeles pilot Circles of Support and Accountability, which is a restorative-justice prison re-entry program, in collaboration with the Fresno Community Justice Center. You can follow her on Twitter @hannahnpbowman.
Posts By This Author
In Advent We Make Space for Jesus, Our Unhoused Neighbor
In Matthew 25:35, Jesus identifies himself with the stranger we welcome or exclude. Advent hospitality extends beyond our personal relationships and into the ways we structure our neighborhoods and our common life. But in the United States, our politics are driven by “NIMBYism” (“not in my backyard!”), as housed individuals and politicians not only demand the exclusion of unsheltered people from public spaces but also oppose the creation of shelters and permanent, affordable housing in our neighborhoods.
Prison Letters Are Essential to Our Faith
The Federal Bureau of Prisons is piloting a program to replace physical mail to prisoners with scanned copies, a program I believe is extremely unjust and has urgent implications for the practice of our faith, both for Christians who are incarcerated and Christians on the outside.
Encampments for the Unhoused Are Sacred Structures
Creating sacred space, whether in temporary dwellings or permanent homes, is ultimately about constructing community. Community creates safety through mutual care for one another. Often, the political response to unhoused people is instead based on the contrived premise that they are a danger to neighborhoods.
Abolition Is the Embodiment of God's Justice
The U.S. prison system is an afront to human dignity and in sharp contrast with God's vision for justice on earth. Christians' commitment to love, hope, and justice should inspire us to work toward abolishing the prison system.