Dr. James H. Costen, SR
Dr. James H. Costen, SR

Welcome to the James H. Costen SR Institute for Complicated Freedoms. We are glad you’re here! Freedoms from our social ills can be complicated, and oftentimes never achieved. The Institute seeks to provoke collaboration between community stakeholders of all disciplines to bring healing to our beloved community.

MASS INCARCERATION: A Pressing Issue Today
Before today’s commonly-heard terms like mass-incarceration, the new Jim Crow, slavery with a new name, or hyper-incarceration became critical mainstream issues and talking points, Black American church leaders recognized rates of incarceration trending upward and that Black American communities were bearing the brunt of this phenomena.

During the mid-1980s, the planning committee for the third research conference sponsored by the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) determined that the disproportionate representation of Black men incarcerated in the United States warranted urgent investigation. By the final conference on this matter, held early June, 1992, conferees proffered that the Black American church had not been able to turn around incarceration or recidivism trends.

It is now time for The Church to take the lead in restoring our communities!