Fortress Press

Redeeming a Prison Society: A Liturgical and Sacramental Response to Mass Incarceration

Redeeming a Prison Society

A Liturgical and Sacramental Response to Mass Incarceration

Amy Levad (Author)


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Amy Levad offers a Catholic perspective that directly addresses the concrete issues from a strongly interdisciplinary approach and utilizes the rich liturgical and sacramental resources of penance and Eucharist to offer a theological vision of reform.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800699918
  • eBook ISBN 9781451465129
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 192
  • Publication Date January 1, 2014


1. Our Crisis of Justice
2. Catholic Responses to Our Criminal Justice Crisis
3. A Liturgical and Sacramental Approach to Justice
4. A Model for Criminal Justice Reform
5. A Movement for Justice


"If you care about the crisis in the criminal justice system in the United States and are asking whether the Church has any resources to address the crisis, read this book. Drawing brilliantly on Catholic sacramental and moral traditions, Amy Levad proposes a wise and relevant model for reform. Written with tough-mindedness and urgency, Redeeming a Prison Society is a major theological contribution to the current national debate."
—Don E. Saliers
Emory University 

“Levad brings a much needed Christian, particularly Catholic, perspective to bear on the increasingly critical dialogue on criminal injustice in the United States, calling on us to actually care about those in prison. Using Catholic social justice teaching as a hermeneutical lens, she exposes the glaring inequities in America’s criminal justice systems, highlighting in particular, the glaring ‘discrepancies related to race and ethnicity among prison and jail populations’ as well as inequities based on socioeconomic status and gender. All of these factors have a multiplicative impact on racial and minority populations.
What is innovative is her presentation of the liturgy and the sacraments as lived experiences that provide a viable and practical resource and model for her efforts to provide a new and radically different vision for prison reform, one grounded in the vision of justice in God’s reign as revealed in the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist.
This work is a valuable addition to the growing discussion on criminal injustice and incarceration. It adds a much needed religious voice, one grounded in the understanding of the innate dignity of all of humanity as created in the image and likeness of God.”
Diana L. Hayes
Georgetown University