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Religious Faith in Correctional Contexts

NCJ Number
Kent R. Kerley
Date Published
197 pages
This book, Religious Faith in Correctional Contexts, examines the utility and usefulness of religion as a method of correctional treatment.
This book aims to provide a scientific basis for the utility and usefulness of religion and faith-based programs as methods of correctional treatment. Examination of previous research found that the majority of the literature on religion in prison did not use strong scientific investigative methods and that the studies often appeared in non-peer-reviewed outlets. In order to present a more unbiased exploration of these programs, the author collaborated on various studies exploring faith in correctional contexts. Using findings from these studies, the author examines the lived experience of religious faith in correctional contexts. The second chapter of the book provides a review of the literature on religion and its relationship to crime as well as the effects of religion on prison misconduct and recidivism. Chapter 3 presents the results of a survey of local chaplains and the faith-based prison programs they provide in Mississippi facilities, while chapter 4 describes the conversion experience from the research literature and a group of inmates from Alabama and Mississippi. Chapters 5 and 6 describe the experience of faith from the perspective of a group of male inmates at Mississippi State Penitentiary and a group of female inmates incarcerated at a women's facility in Alabama, respectively. Chapter 7 explores the experiences of residents at a faith-based halfway house in Alabama, while chapter 8 examines what religious converts expect following their release from prison. The final chapter focuses on the future of faith-based programs in correctional facilities. Appendix, bibliography, and index