Finding God In A Maximum Security Prison

Let us all remember that God’s gift of salvation is for all men whoever they may be. Amen.

Bryan Patterson's Faithworks

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IT was simple curiosity that guided photographer Serge J-F. Levy to New York’s Green Haven Correctional Facility in 2002. “Without having any personal predisposition to any religious activity but having a fascination with how people can work on their spirituality and healing their souls, I was interested in how this was happening in an environment that seemed to be everything but conducive to that,” Levy said.

That trip was the beginning of a 2½-year project for Levy that ultimately took him to six maximum-security prisons and one super maximum-security prison in states including Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Louisiana. But getting access was tricky, requiring a mix of networking and persuasion. “Other than the obvious ways, it’s not too easy to get into prison. It’s a real challenge to convince people of your intentions, and I felt very lucky to have my intentions aligned with something that was pretty hard to see…

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