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GARDEN GROVE : Colson: Fight Crime With 'Moral Rejuvenation'

October 18, 1994|NANCY HSU

Charles Colson, the late President Richard Nixon's special counsel who spent time in prison for his part in the Watergate scandal, told more than 450 people at a fund-raiser Monday that the country needs a "moral rejuvenation" to help fight crime.

"The No. 1 problem in America today isn't the economy; it's crime" said Colson, 63. "Prisons aren't rehabilitating. Crime is the result of a moral breakdown in society."

The $25-a-plate luncheon at the Hyatt Regency in Garden Grove raised money and support for the local chapter of Prison Fellowship, a Christian organization that ministers to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families.

"The secular world still believes tougher laws, more cops and prisons can curb crime," Colson said.

"If we don't have a moral rejuvenation which comes through the Gospel, we can't fight crime in America."

In 1974, Colson spent seven months in a federal prison for obstructing justice during Watergate investigations.

After a religious conversion, Colson said, he confessed leaking damaging documents about a prominent anti-war activist to the press.

Since he founded Prison Fellowship Ministries in 1976, Colson has traveled to hundreds of prisons across the country.

Another Prison Fellowship program is Project Angel Tree, in which church members donate Christmas presents to children of inmates.

The prison system "just doesn't work," Colson said. "I felt it was God's call to come and do all this."

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