The Dallas Morning News applauds the late Charles Colson for proving “that redemption is possible” by founding the Prison Fellowship after being imprisoned for his political dirty tricks during Watergate. Colson, who died last month at 80, “could have served his time, walked out of prison and lived on the largesse of political relationships he had meticulously culled. Instead he emerged with a mission to change lives and an awareness of the justice system's weaknesses,” the newspaper says, adding that he “profoundly changed the national discussion about crime and justice.”
The Morning News say Colson believed that nonviolent criminals should not be jailed, but rather paroled so they could contribute to the community they damaged. He opposed mandatory minimum sentences and backed programs to help inmates with addictions. The Prison Fellowship now operates in more than 100 countries, and it established a mostly Christian outreach program in a wing of a minimum-security prison near Houston, an initiative that has expanded to Minnesota.