I was looking up something regarding Chuck Colson's efforts to pass the Prison Rape Elimination Act when I ran across a 2005 NY Times article that discussed Colson's conversion to Christianity and his subsequent work (for decades now) around prison reform. They mention Colson's work with respect to the Prison Rape Elimination Act,
There are signs that, at least on the issue of prisons, that could be changing. In the last few years, evangelical Protestants and their allies in Congress have become more interested in prison reform, and Mr. Colson deserves much of the credit. In 2003, by a unanimous vote, Congress passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act, mandating an extensive study of the problem of rape in state and federal prisons. It was not as good, certainly, as a well-financed program to stop prison rape, but it was still a dramatic recognition of a problem that has long been hidden from view.
But Mr. Cohen also also manages to get in a snarky crack on the motivation behind Colson's interest in prison reform (in fact, he calls into question the motivation of most Evangelicals),
It is tempting to attribute Mr. Colson's interest in prison reform to his own stint behind bars. If a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged, a prison reformer may just be a law-and-order conservative who has spent time in jail. Mr. Colson doesn't entirely disagree. "What I experienced in seven months in prison," he said, "was the total futility of that system." But he insists that his views about criminal justice are firmly rooted in his faith: "The biblical model says the way you deal with offenders is to redeem them." [emph mine]
As if to suggest that a "law-and-order conservative" only has his views about justice because he hasn't been on the receiving end--yet. I think it's quite possible to hold that the current prison system needs reform without ever having been a prisoner yourself. I do think it interesting that the columnist inadvertently credits Conservatives with being that end of the political spectrum more likely to be concerned with law and order, though.