Pathway to salvation? Public perceptions of the impact of religion on criminal behavior and recidivism
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Type of Workapplication/pdf
vi, 72 pages
ProgramTowson University. Social Sciences Program
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For centuries, religion has inspired debate regarding the role it might play in advancing a person's position within society. Proponents of the value of religious involvement in shaping adherents' behavior have framed it as a mechanism that can provide a fundamental foundation for human conduct and a script for human interaction. In considering these points, what are the implications for those individuals that society has deemed to be unfit to participate as a free and contributing citizen due to their involvement in crime? Can religion possibly offer a vehicle to salvation for incarcerated offenders, not in the philosophical sense, but within the context of inspiring an abandonment of criminal conduct? Research on the topic suggests that religious participation and practice can impact choices, but remains fractured, failing to adequately draw significant correlations between practice and outcomes in terms of a reduction of criminal activity. Regardless, participation in faith-based programming is encouraged in many correctional facilities. This paper will explore the literature on the subject and discuss the results of a survey designed to measure community attitudes and beliefs regarding the impact of prison-based religious involvement and programming upon inmate recidivism.