A Prison Pastor’s Advice for Parents

Brian J. Wright | March 30, 2015

A white supremacist, a Native American gangster, and a black drug dealer.

Three prison inmates whose life stories differ in the details but unite around the same temptations.

The White Supremacist

I had the privilege of visiting Wyatt, an inmate up for death row, every week for almost three years. I was making my weekly rounds in the special housing unit—also known as “solitary confinement”—when I passed by his cell door. His face was already looking out the small window as if waiting on me.

“Chaplain Wright, how ya doin’?” he shouted, smiling.

“I’m doing well,” I replied. “Reading anything good these days?”

He smirked as he said, “Harry Potter. My lawyer gave it to me because she said it was the first book she read when she got out of law school. But I’m almost done, so if you have anything in the chapel you’d recommend, feel free to bring it by.”

“Sure,” I answered. “Let me see what we have available, and I’ll try to bring you something next week.”

I had given him three books the following week, and the next time I saw him he called me over to his cell, looked me in the…

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