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NCJ Number: 210868 Find in a Library
Title: Prison Chapel Volunteers
Journal: Federal Probation  Volume:69  Issue:1  Dated:June 2005  Pages:26-30
Author(s): Richard Tewksbury; Sue Carter Collins
Date Published: June 2005
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: HTML
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study profiles the characteristics, recruitment, training, and tasks of volunteers who serve in prison chapel programs, and it reports on volunteers' assessments of their experience.
Abstract: Study data were collected in the summer of 2003 via anonymous surveys distributed to prison-ministry volunteers in three Kentucky prisons. Forty-one out of 80 surveys were returned. Survey findings indicate that a majority of respondents were middle-aged, White females who represented a variety of religious faiths. Sixty percent of the volunteers reported prior experience in jail-based ministry programs, for an average tenure of nearly 8 years. In their current institution, volunteers had worked for a mean tenure of 7 years and 4 months. When asked about their personal experiences with the criminal justice system, one in six (17.5 percent) reported having a prior criminal conviction. Approximately 12.5 percent reported having been on probation, and 12 .5 percent had been in jail. Five percent also served time in prison. A total of 57.9 percent of the volunteers had at least one family member who was involved in the general ministry, and almost half had a family member who was involved in a prison ministry program. At least one-third of the respondents had graduated from college and seminary programs, which suggests recruiting religious students at selected institutions of higher learning and seminaries to serve as volunteers in prison chapel programs. Few had received formal education or training for their prison ministry. Almost all reported teaching inmates as well as preaching at services. Less than 20 percent engaged in counseling about personal problems, assisting in reentry into the community, or acting as friends to inmates. Their long tenures as volunteers in prison chapel programs confirms their reports of receiving a high degree of satisfaction from their work. 6 tables and 8 references
Main Term(s): Corrections volunteers
Index Term(s): Inmate religious affiliation; Religion; Volunteer programs; Volunteer training; Volunteers
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