I spoke to the prisoner in "the big house" as he was sweeping. He answerved politely and continued his work. I was surprised that he seemed at least as respectful and normal as anyone on the outside. But that was before an incident happened with my father.
My father was a good man and a dedicated Christian, most of the time. At his work, however, he was harassed and insulted so much by a person that he stuck a knife in his stomach and promised to kill him if he said another word. Since my father was a man of his word, I am ver y glad the bully said nothing else, or I would have been visiting him in prison for about 20 years.
Many are in prison because they are thugs who richly deserve to be there, at best. Most in prison have no fathers, thanks to Hugh Heffner, and have mothers like that of the mobster Al Capone who looked at him in his coffin and said, "He was a good boy." Other prisoners murdered their torturers and probably should be fined a dollar and let go. Saint Paul was a prisoner because he preached the good news of Jesus Christ, that he died on the cross as a substitute for our sins, we can have forgiveness of our sins through him, and he is coming back as the judge of all. Others have been imprisoned because they were for democracy or fairness or for other worthy ideas, and were honorable people.
But even thugs sometimes get converted to Jesus Christ and thus change. This happened to the tormentor of my father. We all suffer in various ways, but if we must go though difficult times, let it be for doing the will of God. Since God says, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay," we can be confident that my father was not in the will of God when he threatened to kill his tormentor. The verse I just quoted is one of my least favorite ones, so I probably got his genes in this area. We all have verses that are especially difficult for us to honor. But honoring these and other verses may keep us out of prison, or they may cause us to go to prison in various countries. May God give us the courage and whatever else it takes know and to do his will, which always perfectly balances justice and mercy.