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Religious Commitment Within the Corrections Environment: An Empirical Assessment (From Crime, Values, and Religion, P 193-209, 1987, James M Day and William S Laufer, eds. -- See NCJ-119399)

NCJ Number
B R Johnson
Date Published
17 pages
Religious characteristics of prison inmates were studied using a sample of 782 inmates released from Florida's Apalachee Correctional Institution (ACI) from 1978 through 1982.
Independent study variables were the inmate's perceived family religiosity, the inmate's church attendance prior to incarceration, and the inmate's conversion experience. Eleven dependent variables were used to construct three different religiosity indexes: institution's perception of inmate religiosity; self-reported inmate religiosity; and religiosity based on actual church attendance records of ACI inmates. Control variables were race, age, maximum sentence length, felony class, and church denomination. It was found that religious variables explained only 4 percent of the variance in religiosity indexes. Inmates who experienced a religious conversion were no more likely than other inmates to attend institutional religious functions. Control variables did not demonstrate any significant interaction with inmate religiosity. It is concluded that nothing else is as important to inmates as simply being in prison. 18 references, 6 figures.