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NCJ Number: 206435 Find in a Library
Title: Initial Process and Outcome Evaluation of the InnerChange Freedom Initiative: The Faith-Based Prison Program in TDCJ
Author(s): Brittani Trusty; Michael Eisenberg
Corporate Author: Texas Criminal Justice Policy Council
United States of America
Date Published: February 2003
Page Count: 31
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Texas Criminal Justice Policy Council
Austin, TX 78711
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

Texas Criminal Justice Policy Council
P.O. Box 13332, Capitol Station
Austin, TX 78711
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report presents the initial process and outcome evaluation of the InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI), a faith-based, prerelease program operated since 1997 by Prison Fellowship Ministries in the Carol Vance Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Abstract: The IFI was designed to "facilitate the life transformation of the member, eliminating the thinking process which resulted in his incarceration and to rebuild the member's value system, establishing a solid foundation for productive growth." The three-phase program involves inmates in 16-24 months of in-prison biblical programming and 6-12 months of aftercare while on parole. Program phases focus on biblical education, life skills, community service, leadership, and personal faith. Volunteers operate the program, working with inmates prior to and after release from prison. The process evaluation found that numerous program design, implementation, and operation issues typical of new programs surfaced during the start-up years of the program. This required close cooperation between IFI administrators and the various divisions of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). IFI and TDCJ administrators also faced challenges in addressing IFI program components that were inconsistent with TDCJ policies. The outcome evaluation tracked the 2-year recidivism (reincarceration) rate of 177 offenders who had participated in the program and were released from prison prior to September 1, 2000. The recidivism rate of program participants was compared to the recidivism rate of 1,754 inmates who met IFI selection criteria but did not participate in the program (match group). A comparison was also made to the recidivism of 560 inmates who volunteered for the program but did not participate for various reasons (volunteer group). In addition, the recidivism of program participants was compared with that of 1,083 inmates screened as eligible for the program but did not volunteer or were not selected for program participation (screened group). Offenders who "graduated" from the program had significantly lower recidivism rates (8 percent after 2 years) than the comparison groups (20 percent for the matched group, 19 percent for the volunteer group, and 22 percent for the screened group). Those who participated in but did not complete the program had a 36 percent recidivism rate after 2 years; therefore, the overall recidivism rate for IFI participants (completers and noncompleters) was slightly higher (24 percent) than for all comparison groups. Continued contact with a mentor after release was associated with reduced recidivism. IFI program administrators should examine the relationship between time in the program, completion rates, and recidivism rates to determine strategies for improving the program. The program has operated at no cost to taxpayers. Extensive tables and appended data on IFI sample and comparison group recidivism rates
Main Term(s): Corrections effectiveness
Index Term(s): Inmate social programs; Inmate treatment; Life skills training; Program implementation; Recidivism; Religious programs; Texas
Note: Downloaded August 9, 2004.
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