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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 228213 Find in a Library
Title: Indiana Implements a Faith- and Character-Based Housing Program
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:71  Issue:4  Dated:August 2009  Pages:62-64,66,68
Author(s): Stephen T. Hall
Date Published: August 2009
Page Count: 6
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the purpose and features of the Purposeful Living Units Serve (PLUS) program at 16 Indiana correctional facilities, which uses the faith of an inmate (whatever that faith is) or nonreligious character-building principles as a resource for achieving positive behavioral change in the context of a supportive community.
Abstract: PLUS correctional housing dormitories in Indiana correctional facilities were authorized under House Bill 1429 passed during the 2005 legislative session. This law allows the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) to operate faith-based transitional dormitories at any facility operated by the IDOC. The PLUS program has been designed to address the risk of a constitutional challenge under the doctrine of the separation of church and state. Participants may choose from either a faith track (any religion) or a character track (no religion). Dormitories or cell houses must have the same features as other general-population housing at the same facility. Also, there are no incarceration time-cuts or special privileges for participants. All curricula materials are purchased from donated funds or funds generated by commissary and telephone profits. An additional safeguard for preventing the excessive entanglement of government and religion consists of the creation of a diverse Faith-and Character-Based Advisory Board. The board is a 16-member body composed of bipartisan government officials, community leaders, faith leaders from various religions, educators, and ex-offenders. The board, which meets quarterly advises the IDOC commissioner on sound structural and operational aspects of the PLUS program. The stated goals of PLUS are better behavior as measured by reduced conduct reports; better adjustment as measured by fewer grievances; restitution in the form of community service; smoother transition upon reentry; and reduced recidivism rates. Eligibility criteria, curriculum materials and schedule, the evaluation process, and staffing are described. 1 figure and 2 tables
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Faith-Based Inmate Assistance Programs; Indiana; Moral development; Religion; State laws; Treatment/Therapeutic Community
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