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May 11, 2007

I spent my summer vacation in prison

That's what some kids could be writing in their back-to-school essays next fall, according to this article. Apparently, prison is a fun and exciting place to visit, with several dozen open to the public here in the U.S. Most no longer house inmates, although there is reportedly a push to open a museum at the still-active Sing Sing prison in New York State.

What's the appeal? One Park Service employee says, “Everyone has a macabre interest in what could occur if you don't stay on the right side of the law.”

Still, I have a feeling that walking the corridors when they're full of mildly interested tourists isn't nearly as informative about "what could occur if you don't stay on the right side of the law" as volunteering in a prison with actual prisoners. Relinquishing all ID to the prison staff, being frisked for weapons, and then kneeling to peer through the food tray slot so you can share the Gospel with a woman convicted of murder -- that's an experience that will make you appreciate staying on the right side of the law.

And have we got a deal for you! Prison Fellowship is always happy to train volunteers to go into prisons on a regular or occasional basis to share the love of Christ with men and women who have ended up on the wrong side of the law. You can find out about opportunities in your area here.

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