Faith-based programs give facilities a helping hand.Authors' note: Findings and conclusions reported in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Religious groups have long played a role in helping prisoners and their families, and our nation's prisons have a considerable range of religion-based activities. At a minimum, every prison has at least one prison chaplain Noun 1. prison chaplain - a chaplain in a prison
chaplain - a clergyman ministering to some institution available, (1) and many prisons are offering more than prayer services or religious study. Increasingly, these programs offer in-prison, prerelease pre·re·lease
Something released before an official or scheduled date.
Of or relating to an interval preceding an official or scheduled release: and reentry reentry n. taking back possession and going into real property which one owns, particularly when a tenant has failed to pay rent or has abandoned the property, or possession has been restored to the owner by judgment in an unlawful detainer lawsuit. services to prisoners and their families. Corrections-related faith-based programs, staffed by committed volunteers, offer the potential to reduce the cost of providing services.
Research is inconclusive about the effectiveness of the programs in terms of their impact on recidivism recidivism: see criminology. or ability to change behavior, but some programs are building impressive track records and are helping correctional facilities provide much-needed services. This article highlights five of them. (2)
Marion, Ohio Marion is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Marion CountyGR6. The city is located in northern Ohio, approximately 50 miles (80 km) north of Columbus.
The population was 35,318 at the 2000 census.
The Horizon Program is a 48-bed unit for male inmates at the Marion Correctional Institution Noun 1. correctional institution - a penal institution maintained by the government
detention camp, detention home, detention house, house of detention - an institution where juvenile offenders can be held temporarily (usually under the supervision of a juvenile , which began operations in 2000. The program, which draws volunteers from the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith communities in nearby Columbus, helps inmates develop pro-social beliefs and skills. Horizon at Marion has established strong partnerships with the faith community and taps into a remarkably stable pool of volunteers who provide spiritual development and mentoring activities. Each year, approximately 60 volunteers provide services in the Horizon unit. Only the program coordinator and volunteer coordinator are paid positions. The Marion Correctional Facility provides funding, and private sources such as churches also contribute, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Program Coordinator Jeff Hunsaker.
Enlisting members of the community who can model pro-social behavior and attitudes is important in creating a change of heart in offenders and restoring them to better lives, Hunsaker said. Horizon targets inmates who have at least two years to serve before their release. This requirement gives inmates time to put into practice what they learn and to reduce behavioral problems while in prison. The selected inmates live in interfaith "families" for 10 months and receive spiritual mentoring as well as services to help change anti-social beliefs and behaviors, reunite re·u·nite
tr. & intr.v. re·u·nit·ed, re·u·nit·ing, re·u·nites
To bring or come together again.
[-niting, -nited with their families, gain basic life skills, and aid in recovery from addiction. Inmates are selected for the program after interviews with administrators and staff to gauge their readiness and commitment to changing their behavior. Last year, Horizon graduates were given the chance to recommend a fellow inmate to participate in the program. Correctional staff and program officials believe that inmates recommended by Horizon graduates could be successful candidates because the graduates would have insight into an inmate's willingness to change.
As of June 2006, Horizon at Marion had served 230 inmates; 179 have graduated and almost half--86--have been released. Of the 86, 14 percent have returned to the state prison system. (3) According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics Noun 1. Bureau of Justice Statistics - the agency in the Department of Justice that is the primary source of criminal justice statistics for federal and local policy makers
BJS report about U.S. reentry trends, 41 percent of inmates discharged by state parole authorities in 2000 successfully completed their supervision terms; 42 percent were returned to prison or jail; and 9 percent absconded. (4) In light of the national reentry trends, the Horizon program has shown a favorable recidivism rate.
In 2001, Lawtey Correctional Institution established a faith- and character-based dormitory to house about 80 men; subsequently, it became the first institution of its kind in the country. Lawtey houses inmates in medium, minimum and community custody. To be selected, inmates must have had no disciplinary confinements within 90 days of application to Lawtey. Religious faith (or lack thereof) is not considered in the application process. The majority of the inmates report Christian affiliations; 4 percent are Muslim; and 1 percent are Jewish. Thirteen percent have no affiliation, and the remaining 5 percent belong to one of 10 other religions.
According to Senior Chaplain William Wright, approximately 600 volunteers have participated in programming at Lawtey, which offers services every day of the week. Inmates participate in a minimum of four hours a month of secular or faith-based self-improvement, including life skills training, mentoring and developing personal integrity. Wright said Lawtey routinely adds new programs to meet inmate needs. For example, Long Distance Dads was added to encourage inmate fathers to reunite with their children and stay involved in their lives, he said.
Program officials believe the atmosphere at Lawtey makes a difference. Inmates know they must "police themselves" and not engage in problem behavior such as fighting or stealing. Any inmate who has disciplinary problems is transferred to another facility. As a result, disciplinary problems at the facility declined to the point where confinement cells were shut down and staff transferred to other duties. In the six-month period ending May 31, 2007, Lawtey had a lower disciplinary rate per 1,000 than comparable Florida correctional institutions. (5)
According to a forthcoming evaluation report from the Urban Institute, at six months after release, male faith-and character-based institution (FCBI FCBI Functional Configuration Baseline Index ) inmates have lower reincarceration rates than a matched comparison group of inmates housed in the general population. None of the 189 male FCBI inmates included in the outcome analysis were reincarcerated within six months of their release, while four (2.1 percent) of the 189 male inmates in the matched comparison group were reincarcerated during that time, reported Nancy LaVigne, senior researcher at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C.
Home for Good Oregon (HGO HGO Hidalgo (postcode, Mexico)
HGO Hepatic Glucose Output
HgO Mercury Oxide
HGO Heavy Gas Oil
HGO Hip-Guided Orthosis
HGO Hayes, Grebogi and Ott ) is a statewide community and faith-based reentry initiative involving a partnership between the Oregon Department of Corrections, local community corrections agencies, citizens, communities and faith-based groups in each of Oregon's 36 counties. Four counties--Marion, Linn linn
1. A waterfall.
2. A steep ravine.
[Scottish Gaelic linne, pool, waterfall.] , Douglas and Josephine--are serving as pilot projects, working with Partnership Steering Committees, which direct the development of volunteers, services and coordination. A network of nine full-time prison chaplains works in eight correctional institutions to help offenders develop spiritually and prepare for release in the last six months of their incarceration Confinement in a jail or prison; imprisonment.
Police officers and other law enforcement officers are authorized by federal, state, and local lawmakers to arrest and confine persons suspected of crimes. The judicial system is authorized to confine persons convicted of crimes. . In addition, 45 volunteer community chaplains, trained by the Department of Corrections, recruit and work with hundreds of community- and faith-based volunteers.
HGO has received more than 1,600 applications since September 2004--about 280 per month. Offenders of all faiths are welcome. Applicants receive the name and contact information for a volunteer community chaplain in their county as well as two or more local community- or faith-based resources. In three counties, an effort called Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA CoSA Council of State Archivists
COSA Codependents of Sex Addicts
CoSA Circles of Support and Accountability
COSA Cost-of-Service Analysis
COSA Casualties of Sexual Allegations
COSA Coordinator of Student Activities
COSA Company of Science & Art ) involves highly trained volunteers who meet weekly, giving high-risk offenders additional support and augmenting services provided by corrections professionals. The program is based on the restorative justice A philosophical framework and a series of programs for the criminal justice system that emphasize the need to repair the harm done to crime victims through a process of negotiation, mediation, victim empowerment, and Reparation.
The U.S. model, focusing on the community. According to Thomas O'Connor, program administrator, volunteers who can model pro-social attitudes and behaviors can help motivate offenders to use available community resources for housing, employment training and other needs. "The community has a vital role in making the reentry process a successful process for both returning offenders and the communities receiving them," he said. At the time of this article, there are no data on the effect of the services provided, (6) but O'Connor says anecdotal evidence anecdotal evidence,
n information obtained from personal accounts, examples, and observations. Usually not considered scientifically valid but may indicate areas for further investigation and research. indicates that people who have community support have lower rates of failing to report to their parole officers.
East Harlem, N.Y.
In 1999, the Harlem Exodus Transitional Community The Exodus Transitional Community, www.etcny.com, is a non-profit organization that provides support services to men and women who are in transition from incarceration to full-integration into their communities. (ETC ETC - ExTendible Compiler. Fortran-like, macro extendible. "ETC - An Extendible Macro-Based Compiler", B.N. Dickman, Proc SJCC 38 (1971). ) received $40,000 in contributions from a church and began providing services to inmates returning to the community. Since then, the program's annual budget has grown substantially, much of it from large grants from the federal government, Esperanza USA and several foundations. ETC received funds under Ready4Work, an ex-offender reentry work force development initiative of the U.S. Department of Labor's Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. The Ready4Work funding required that the program not have an overt faith focus and participation in the program's spiritual components not be mandatory.
With the exception of sex offenders sex offender n. generic term for all persons convicted of crimes involving sex, including rape, molestation, sexual harassment and pornography production or distribution. and those with mental illness, ETC serves all types of criminal offenders, including those with gang-related offenses and histories of violence. However, this community-based program has no formal affiliation with the correctional system. The program is staffed by professionals, many of whom are ex-offenders. Case managers act as mentors and partners. Each participant must have 10 contacts with a case manager in the first month, five in the second and two in the third. Participants can stay in the program for up to a year, with the number of contacts depending on how well they are doing. Volunteers from the faith community serve as life coach mentors and hold mentoring meetings once a week, but the mentors and participants also meet at other times for guidance as well as friendship and conversation.
The ETC program serves 400 to 500 formerly incarcerated incarcerated /in·car·cer·at·ed/ (in-kahr´ser-at?ed) imprisoned; constricted; subjected to incarceration.
Confined or trapped, as a hernia. men and women a year. It focuses on employment counseling and training and helps participants build on the skills they acquired in correctional settings to secure positions outside prison. Following their initial five-day reintegration reintegration /re·in·te·gra·tion/ (-in-te-gra´shun)
1. biological integration after a state of disruption.
2. restoration of harmonious mental function after disintegration of the personality in mental illness. session, participants leave with a professional resume, interview skills and an understanding of the attitudes and habits they need in the workplace. The program's employment specialists reach out to employers in New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City
City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S. to develop job opportunities for participants. Adam Friedman, deputy director of ETC, said some of the employers recently involved are the #311 information system in New York City; Opinion Access, a market research organization; and a food delivery service for supermarkets.
The Rational Emotive e·mo·tive
1. Of or relating to emotion: the emotive aspect of symbols.
2. Characterized by, expressing, or exciting emotion: Spiritual Therapy (REST) Inmate Restoration and Aftercare af·ter·care
Follow-up care provided after a medical procedure or treatment program.
the care and treatment of a convalescent patient, especially one that has undergone surgery. Program helps offenders overcome criminal behavior through combined cognitive therapy cognitive therapy
Any of a variety of techniques in psychotherapy that utilize guided self-discovery, imaging, self-instruction, and related forms of elicited cognitions as the principal mode of treatment. (viewed as a promising approach to changing behavior) and spiritual intervention. The REST program began in 2000 in prisons across the five institutions of the Philadelphia Prison System. There is now a reentry aftercare component with a small number of participants.
The program operates differently in each of the prisons, but the core program remains the same. It consists of 13 weeks of group sessions, running approximately 90 minutes each week. The sessions are led by a trained, certified volunteer counselor. Once inmates complete their course work, they graduate and are paired with a mentor before they are released. The mentor helps them connect to community-based faith groups that can direct them to resources for training and employment assistance. The aftercare part of the program is not mandatory.
The program relies heavily on volunteers, who go through extensive training and must pass an exam to become a certified group counselor. About 1,000 inmates participate in the program each year, and since the program's inception, more than 1,400 inmates have graduated. (7) In one survey of REST participants, 84 percent of the inmates said the program had been very useful to them. (8)
The Promise of Faith-Based Programs
As these five programs illustrate, faith-based programs--both prison-based and community-based--can provide much needed services. Government agencies, given their structure and specific missions, can find it difficult to match some of these services. For example, faith-based groups provide assistance that draws upon and reflects community values and culture. (9) Their position within the community offers ties that are perhaps most important for giving offenders a better chance for success when they return home.
Corrections-related faith-based programs offer the potential to reduce the cost of service provision through the contributions of committed volunteers. This may help explain the proliferation of faith-based programs throughout the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. . (10) Given this, further evaluations of the effectiveness of such programs could garner information useful to correctional institutions nationwide. Several of the programs discussed earlier are working toward this goal by incorporating evidence-based practices into their curricula and developing program structures that support evaluation.
(1) Solomon, Amy L., Michelle Waul v. i. 1. To cry as a cat; to squall; to wail.
The helpless infant, coming wauling and crying into the world.
- Sir W. Scott.
Verb 1. waul - make high-pitched, whiney noises
squall, wawl , Asheley Van Ness Van Ness may refer to:
(2) The five programs were studied by Caterina Roman and her colleagues at the Urban Institute, Washington, D.C. Their 2006 final report is: Evaluability studies of faith-based programs in corrections, final report submitted to the National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice. Available at www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/209350.pdf.
(3) Horizon Communities in Prison. 2006. State Reports: Ohio, Recidivism data. Winter Park, Fla.: Horizon Communities in Prison. Accessed February 2007 at http://horizoncommunities.org/Marion.htm.
(4) Hughes, Timothy and Doris James Wilson. 2000. Reentry trends in the United States: Inmates returning to the community after serving time in prison. Washington, D.C.: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice. Available at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/reentry/reentry.htm.
(5) Florida Department Florida is a department (departamento) of Uruguay. Population and Demographics
As of the census of 2004, there were 68,181 people and 21,938 households in the department. The average household size was 3.1. For every 100 females, there were 100.4 males. of Corrections. Update on faith- and character-based institutions. Accessed February 2007 at www.dc.state.fl.us/oth/faith/stats.html.
(6) O'Connor, Thomas, Tim Cayton, Scott Taylor Scott Taylor is the name of:
2. Ground rent deeds and leases frequently contain a clause authorizing the landlord to reenter on the non-payment of rent, or the breach of some covenant, when the partnership to increase restorative justice. Corrections Today, 66(6):72-76. Alexandria, Va.: American Correctional Association The American Correctional Association is an association of providers of services to prisons in the United States. It holds an annual trade show where products used in prisons are shown to prospective purchasers.
It was formerly known as the American Prison Association. .
(7) I-REST Inc. Web site. Accessed February 2007 at www.restphilly.com/trainingcenter.html and www.restphilly.com/restphillyproject.html.
(8) Cnann, Ram A. and Jill Sinha, 2004. Back into the fold: Helping ex-prisoners reconnect through faith. Baltimore: Annie E. Casey Foundation According to their website, "the Annie E. Casey Foundation has worked to build better futures for disadvantaged children and their families in the United States." The foundation is a regular contributor to public broadcasting, including National Public Radio. . (January). Available at www.aecf.org/upload/PublicationFiles/FF3622H352.pdf.
Roman, J., M. Kane, E. Turner and B. Frazier. 2006. Instituting lasting reforms for prisoner reentry in Philadelphia. Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute, Justice Policy Center. (June). Available at www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/411345_lastingreforms.pdf.
(9) Hercik, J., R. Lewis and B. Myles. 2004. Development of a guide to resources on faith-based organizations in criminal justice, final report to the National Institute of Justice. Fairfax, Va.: Caliber Associates. Available at www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/209350.pdf.
(10) Solomon et al. 2001.
Laurie C. Bright is a senior social science analyst for the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Mary G. Graham, a freelance writer and former director of communications Director of Communications is a position in the private and public sectors. The Director of Communications is responsible for managing and directing an organization's internal and external communications. at NIJ Noun 1. NIJ - the law enforcement agency that is the research and development branch of the Department of Justice
National Institute of Justice
Department of Justice, DoJ, Justice Department, Justice - the United States federal department responsible for , helped in developing the article.