Article from The Hill by Rep. Mark Walker.

Families are the basic building block of society. I‘ve witnessed this reality after nearly two decades in ministry counseling individuals and families from all walks of life. I noticed that when family life thrived, so too did my congregation. Inversely, when families suffered, the negative effects reached across the whole community.

I was compelled to run for Congress to strengthen the family unit and promote a message of hope and opportunity. I ran to make real, tangible changes to improve lives for everyday Americans. For America to remain the pillar of strength, we need the family unit to remain strong.

Unfortunately, government stacks the deck against many American families. putting roadblocks in their paths when they really need the helping hand of their neighbor and some personal responsibility. Perhaps there is no greater culprit of this than the current criminal justice system.

Right now, there are more than 2 million people in American prisons or jails. But this number is not just a simple statistic. Each person incarcerated is part of a family and of a community, and these families and friends feel the weight of incarceration every day. These people are removed from society, unable to provide for their families or give time to their local communities.

Read the entire article at The Hill.

Image Credit: By St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons