New York based photographer Serge J-F. Levy, visited six maximum security prisons across the country between 2002 and 2003 to photograph inmates embrace spirituality in a series of images called, "Religion in Prison."
The project was sparked by Levy's own curiosity and what he found through each interaction with those incarcerated who are Christian, Jewish, Wiccan, Muslim and Buddhist, and how religion brings out their softer side, despite their labels as criminals.
"There's this sincere desire on the part of many inmates to try to understand the state of their soul," Levy said, according to Slate.com. "They're trying to understand their predicament, and I think that spirituality in prison not so infrequently dovetails with a form of analysis or therapy. I think there's a sense of introspection and evaluation of one's life that happens within these religious environments." more >>
An Alabama pastor accused of killing his wife last July returned to the state on Wednesday.
Richard Shahan, 53, was arrested for being "a fugitive from justice" while waiting in line at security at Nashville International Airport on New Year's Day.
Shahan, who was placed on administrative leave from the First Baptist Church of Birmingham in August, was removed from the church's payroll several weeks ago and said he was intending to embark on a three year commitment with Bible Mission International in Germany. more >>
A 27-year-old mother of five allegedly abandoned her children to party with a boyfriend using government checks meant to help with their care while her severely disabled 3-year-old daughter starved to death in a filthy bug-infested home they shared with their father in Philadelphia, Pa.
The mother, Carmen Ramirez, began skipping out on the children, ages 3 through 9, and their father, Carlos Rivera, 30, last summer because she decided that she wanted to start having fun, according to a report in The Philadelphia Enquirer. Among her children was 3-year-old Nathalyz Rivera, who suffered from a genetic condition that left her partially blind and unable to walk or talk.
In court on Tuesday, prosecutor Gwenn Cujdik charged that not only did the mother walk out on the children, but the father repeatedly left disabled Nathalyz in the care of her young siblings while he did odd jobs. more >>
North Miami Beach police are investigating the death of a man who reportedly stepped in to break up a brawl at a pre-baptism party in Miami Beach, Fla.
"It was so chaotic that once the police arrived, there were people running everywhere," Thomas Carney, North Miami Beach director of Police Services, told The Christian Post in an interview on Wednesday. Carney said an argument about utensils at the Saturday night pre-baptism party escalated into a fight. When 21-year-old Wilson Alexis stepped in to intervene, two shots were fired and he died in the hospital.
Jameson Joseph, whose godson was supposed to be baptized on Sunday, hosted the party and posted a notice on the social networking site TAGGED. The notice reportedly attracted a much larger crowd than he was expecting, and Carney said that once neighbors saw the big party, they also came out to join it. "They planned to feed the number of guests they invited and that was it," Carney explained. "Once you see between 80 and 100 people that weren't invited, you start running out of things." more >>
The family of a mentally ill teenager who was allegedly shot dead by a police officer during a home incident on Sunday in Brunswick County, N.C., said their son was killed "in cold blood."
"There was no reason to shoot this kid," said Mark Wilsey, stepfather to 18-year-old Keith Vidal, as reported by CNN affiliate WECT. "They killed my son in cold blood. We called for help, and they killed my son."
Vidal's parents say the teenager had just turned 18 and weighed only 90 pounds. During a schizophrenic episode in which Vidal was holding a screwdriver and threatening to fight his mother, the family called the police. Wilsey apparently told 911 that Vidal was refusing to take his medication. more >>
Jonathan Adleta, 26, a father who plotted with his wife, Sarah, 29, to sexually abuse their children before they were born, received two life in prison sentences in an Orlando federal court for his deeds.
"This defendant is guilty of … the destruction and scarring of his own children," said U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton Jr., who also called the crime "heinous," according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Adleta was convicted of transporting minors across a state line to engage in a sex act and conspiracy last September. more >>