Old Habits die in the Hot Sun: A qualitative analysis of five faith-based prisoner reentry programs in Central Florida. Abstract
Prisoner reentry programs are generally of two types: Faith and Non-faith. Recently, both types of programs have come under increasing scrutiny and interest since these type of programs purport to hold the promise to lessen the nation’s recidivism rate. While immense policy challenges lie ahead, and fiscal concerns drain state and municipal budgets, the effectiveness and efficiency of such programs should be further analyzed and debated. This research examined five faith-based, male-only programs in central Florida. Detailed qualitative methodology in the format of small focus groups research was conducted. Reentry participants were found to have a high rate of confidence in their faith-based program’s effects on their personal, family and future careers. Individuals also believe the program’s effectiveness, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (Abstract needs work) Keywords: faith-based, prisoner, reentry, programs, Florida Introduction
Since the mid 1990’s, local, state and federal policy makers in the criminal justice system have worked to create different systems to ease the transition from jail or prison back to society. Faith and non-faith prisoner reentry programs have been posited to increase the success rate of reentry transition to society. Research conducted among former inmates show that returning inmates who score on measures of religiosity and spirituality appear to exhibit socially positive behaviors. It is further hypothesized that these socially positive behaviors could hold the key to preventing future recidivism and finally decrease jail and prison population, thus lowering state and federal expenditures (Benda & Corwyn, 1997; Evans, Cullen, Dunaway, & Burton, 1995; Johnson, Jang, Larson, & De Li, 2001; Richard, Bell, & Carlson, 2000; Tittle & Welch, 1983). DONE
Throughout Western history, both incarcerated and returning inmates from jails and prisons have used religious organizations in order to adapt and transition back to society. Religious institutions provide a firm structure allowing an inmate to adjust gradually and with support to society. A majority of faith-based foundations have increasingly provided diverse services such as job placement assistance, shelter, basic food and necessities, mentoring and advice support and treatment for alcohol and drug abuse (Hercik et al., 2004). DONE Literature Review
After leaving jail or prison, former inmates often face severe and exacerbating difficulties with adjustment to the real world. Effective safeguards were utilized by the criminal justice system such as intense supervision upon release and strict monitoring policies to allow for the returning inmates to adjust to society (Listwan et al., 2006). Well-managed and efficient prisoner reentry programs such as work furloughs allow returning prisoners to develop decent job skills paving the way for a smoother transition. 8/27 2013 For most of the states and the federal governent’s criminal justice apparatus, this type of system used and re-used. Parole boards conitnued to deny releases to current inmates if they are deemed threats to public safety. Simon, (1993) discovered that the ancient methods of rehabilitation conducted while in jail or prison were not effective enough to prevent recidivism. Frequently as hopeful applicants for reentry were unable to find employment, they were refused parole and remained in prison until deemed less of a threat (Listwan al., 2006). DONE As the 1990’s rolled on, instead of meaningful efforts to try and allow for reintegration of returning inmates back to society, the mission of the criminal justice system drifted towards largely supervisory status only (Simon, 1993). Ethnic and marginal neighborhoods were particularly hard hit for employment prospects due to low levels of educational attainment and career skills, especially upon...
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