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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lackawanna County Prison: Let Father Pickard Do His Job

From the Scranton Times:

"The prison has told the Rev. Pickard not to come to the prison until the investigation is complete."

You can read the whole article HERE.

What's the reason for Father Pickard's banishment? Well he brushed up against a guard after not being allowed to minster to a man in a coma, a man who he had previously warned prison administrators was in danger. Call me crazy, but it seems like prison administrators are none too happy that Father Pickard dared to speak out about this case in the first place.

Now what do the prison guards have to say about this? From the article:

Sgt. Bill Shanley, president of the prison employees union, said Father Pickard should be allowed back into the prison.

Since the guards are not bothered by Father Pickard's presence in the facility, why should he be banished?

This isn't a case of someone visiting a distant relative in jail. Father Pickard has a job to perform in the prison. Ministering to the needs of inmates isn't just a "nice to have"; for an inmate who is Catholic (or arguable just religious) it's essential.

Lackawanna County Prison administrators need to end this bizarre banishment and allow Father Pickard to continue his work. If necessary make him write "I will not discuss the condition of Mr Pinto" a thousand times if that's what's needed, but let him do his job.

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