November 22, 2012. (Romereports.com)
Benedict XVI met with a group of prison administrators who oversee the management of European prisons. In his speech, the Pope said that justice should not trump the respect and dignity of prisoners.
The Pope said that a prison sentence, shouldn't just be about punishment. It should also be a time for rehabilitation.
“The prisoner’s personal need to undergo in prison a process of rehabilitation and maturation is actually a need of society itself, both because it stands to regain someone who can make a useful contribution to the common good, and also because such a process makes the prisoner less likely to re-offend and thus endanger society.”
Italian Justice Minister Paola Severino, greeted the Pope on behalf of the group. She said that Christian symbols found inside prisons, actually help the inmates.
Minister of Justice (Italy)
“Amid an empty cell, an altar or a crucifix, can create a sense of peace.”
Before leaving, the Pope asked the directors to care for the prisoners and also to allow religious activities in prison.
BR / VIC/KLH