January 18, 2024 — Have you ever met someone so passionate about something that you just couldn’t help getting excited about it, too? That was host Mike Jordan Laskey’s experience when he first met Fr. Tom Curran, SJ, today’s guest.
Fr. Curran, who served as the president of Rockhurst University in Kansas City for 16 years, is now the coordinator of the Jesuit Prison Education Network (JPEN). Through participation in JPEN, nine different Jesuit institutes of higher learning offer college courses and degree programs — taught by their own college/university professors — at correctional facilities around the country.
The programs are open to both those who are incarcerated and prison staff members, and Fr. Curran has some incredible stories about how the programs have changed the students and teachers lives and even the cultures of the correctional facilities themselves.
In the conversation, Fr. Curran describes some of the ways our criminal justice system is dehumanizing and how prison education is a prophetic statement against that reality. He also talks about how Ignatian spirituality inspires his work and shared some of the most powerful stories from the JPEN programs.
AMDG is a production of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States.