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In memory of Tom and Patti

Two of Riverbend prison’s most faithful visitors have passed away: Patti and Tom West. Patti died on June 23, and her husband passed away eight months ago. As participants in a program at Christ Church Cathedral in Nashville, they were paired with a man on death row and visited him for more than a decade.


Death-row prisoners typically spend many years awaiting execution. In fact, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, more than half of all prisoners sentenced to death in the United States have been on death row for more than 18 years.


There is nothing easy about visiting the incarcerated, especially those who are facing execution. It requires compassion, love, patience, and stamina. The COVID pandemic curtailed visitation for almost two years, creating hardship for prisoners, their families and friends. The Wests remained connected to their friend during that time.


Patti and Tom were committed to social justice. They understood the loneliness of being incarcerated, and they lived their faith. So many people like them visit our guest house at the Family Reconciliation Center every week. We are grateful for Patti and Tom’s example, and we honor their memory.

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Atlas Ryle
Atlas Ryle
a day ago

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