2004-01 Letter to the President

June 22, 2004

Dear President Bush,

The National Convocation of Jail and Prison Ministry at its annual meeting in Baltimore, MD (June 5-9, 2004) condemns the abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and other places by U.S. forces.

The Convocation is a national inter-faith movement that meets annually to work for reform in the criminal justice system. We condemn physical abuse, sexual abuse, medical abuse, humiliation and emotional and psychological torture of those incarcerated anywhere. Human rights have been ignored and dignity has been breached. We call upon the appropriate U.S. and international agencies to conduct investigations and hold accountable all those responsible for these atrocities.

The United States has tried to present itself as a democratic society with a model justice system but the injustices at Abu Ghraib make a mockery of such assertions. The United States has lost credibility to condemn prison abuses worldwide. Such behavior if not rooted out, will become the norm. These abuses must be corrected by open and transparent investigations and reform.

The National Convocation of Jail and Prison Ministry calls for an end to all abuse to the incarcerated in the United States and abroad.
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Sincerely,

Sister Juanita Ujcik, OSF
National Steering Committee Chair
422 Summit St.
Joliet, IL 60435