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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 202128 Find in a Library
Title: InnerChange Freedom Initiative: A Preliminary Evaluation of a Faith-Based Prison Program
Author(s): Byron R. Johnson; David B. Larson
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 59
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the 2-year recidivism rate of Texas offenders who were released after completing the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s (TDCJ’s) InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI), a Christian-based rehabilitation program.
Abstract: In April of 1997, a first of its kind partnership was forged between the TDCJ and Prison Fellowship Ministries (PF) to produce the InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI), a Christian rehabilitation program based on biblical teachings, life-skills education, and group accountability. This first of its kind partnership offers an opportunity to assess the impact of a religious-based rehabilitation program on recidivism among post-release offenders. A total of 177 participants who had been out of prison for at least 2 years and had enrolled in the IFI program were included in the study, as was a control group of 1,754 participants who did not complete the IFI program. Results of statistical analyses revealed that 17.3 percent of the IFI program graduates were rearrested during the 2-year post-release study period, compared with 35 percent of the control group. Eight percent of the IFI graduates and 20.3 percent of the control group were incarcerated during the 2-year study period. Among all the IFI participants, not only the graduates, 36.2 percent of the IFI participants and 35 percent of the control group, were rearrested within the 2-year study period. Findings from interviews and case study research, which is presented in the report, links the quality of the mentoring relationship in the IFI program to program success and lower offender recidivism rates. Findings also suggest that the lack of post-release accountability within the mentoring relationship and the local congregation are associated with higher post-release recidivism rates. The author contends that more ethnographic research is needed to unravel the relationship between spiritual development and rehabilitation. Tables, endnotes
Main Term(s): Recidivism; Religious programs
Index Term(s): Prerelease programs; Program evaluation; Texas
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