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NCJ Number: 210602 Find in a Library
Title: Participation in Operation Starting Line, Experience of Negative Emotions, and Incidence of Negative Behavior
Journal: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology  Volume:49  Issue:4  Dated:August 2005  Pages:410-426
Author(s): Kent R. Kerley; Todd L. Matthews; Jeffrey T. Schulz
Date Published: August 2005
Page Count: 17
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the impact of a faith-based event, Operation Starting Line (OSL), on the negative feelings and aggressive behaviors of inmates in Mississippi's largest prison.
Abstract: Operation Starting Line (OSL), which has the goal of meeting with inmates in every State prison in the United States between 2000 and 2005, involves a day-long interaction of OSL staff and volunteers with inmates for the purpose of sharing the central message of Christianity. A typical event is held on a large stage in an open-air area of the prison grounds and involves entertainment and faith-based messages from musicians, comedians, and professional athletes. Following this, inmates have the opportunity to interact one-on-one and in small groups with program volunteers. At the conclusion of the event, volunteers typically distribute religious literature and encourage inmates to join prison-based scripture study and prayer groups. Following an OSL event in August 2001 at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, a sample of 386 inmates returned valid questionnaires in June 2002. The focus of this report is on the responses of the 268 inmates who participated in the OSL program. The findings from these inmates' survey responses suggest that a significant percentage of the inmates experienced eight different negative emotions and affective states less often following the OSL event. The largest improvements were in the areas of anger, bitterness, and "coldness." Further, the incidence of inmate-to-inmate and inmate-to-staff fights and arguments, as well as punishment for aggressive behavior apparently diminished among inmates who participated in the OSL event. The authors advise that these findings are preliminary. 4 tables and 34 references
Main Term(s): Corrections effectiveness
Index Term(s): Aggression; Inmate attitudes; Inmate discipline; Inmate misconduct; Mississippi; Rehabilitation; Religion; Violent inmates
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