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The Importance of a Religious Foundation.

In early America, the inmate was seen as a sinner and the cure for his wickedness was to expose him to massive doses of Scripture.

Discipline was enforced with an iron hand, with physical punishment frequently applied to those who broke the rules.

Penitentiary staff often included clergymen or ex-clergymen drawn to the possibility of saving souls.

After the Civil War, secular professionals emerged as the preferred bearers of knowledge and scientifically derived techniques.

The progenitor in modern times for turning the prison into a religious community was the faith-based Humaita Prison in Brazil.

The Prison Fellowship Ministry established by Charles Colson is doing similar work in the United States.

This religious-based work has been challenged by secular groups, such as Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

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Publication:World and I
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2003
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