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Faith-Based Programs Give Facilities a Helping Hand

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2007
3 pages
Publication Series

This paper describes the features of five faith-based prison programs.


The Horizon Program in the Marion Correctional Institution (Ohio) involves volunteers from the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith communities. Selected inmates live in interfaith "families" for 10 months and receive spiritual mentoring as well as services designed to help change antisocial beliefs and behaviors, reunite with their families, gain basic life skills, and aid in recovery from addiction. The Lawtey Correctional Institution (Florida) established a faith-based, character-based dormitory that can house approximately 80 men. In order to be selected for this dorm, inmates must have had no disciplinary confinements within 90 days of application to Lawtey. Religious faith or lack of it is not a requirement in the application process. A third faith-based program, Home for Good Oregon (HGO), is a statewide community and faith-based reentry initiative that involves a coalition that includes the Oregon Department of Corrections, local community corrections agencies, citizens, communities, and faith-based groups in each of Oregon's 36 counties. A network of nine full-time prison chaplains serves eight correctional institutions in helping offenders develop spiritually and prepare for release in the last 6 months of their incarceration. A fourth program, the Harlem Exodus Transition Community provides services to inmates returning to the community. Volunteer case managers, many of whom are ex-offenders, act as case managers for up to a year after release. Volunteers from the faith community serve as life-coach mentors. The fifth faith-based program, the Rational Emotive Spiritual Therapy Inmate Restoration and Aftercare Program, serves the institutions of the Philadelphia Prison System. The core program consists of 13 weeks of group sessions, lasting approximately 90 minutes each week. Trained, volunteer counselors and mentors help inmates complete coursework and assist in connecting them to faith-based community organizations after release. 10 notes

Date Published: October 1, 2007