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Faith-Based Involvement: Findings from SVORI Multi-Site Evaluation

NCJ Number
Christine Lindquist; Susan Brumbaugh
Date Published
July 2005
2 pages

The article evaluates faith-based involvement in Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI) programs.


Through interviews and site visits conducted by multisite evaluation staff, it is evident that several of the programs have emphasized the value of involving faith-based organization in their Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI) programs, particularly in the final phase of reentry, during which formal supervision ends and the responsibility for successful reintegration shifts to the community. Many of the SVORI programs have developed strong collaborations with local faith-based agencies, including both individual faith-based organizations and umbrella groups representing numerous faith-based organizations in the community. Faith-based organizations tend to be more involved in service provision to SVORI participants after release than prior to release. The services most frequently delivered by faith-based organizations are one-on-one mentoring (provided to SVORI participants after release by faith-based organizations in over half of the SVORI programs), financial support/emergency assistance, and housing placements or referrals. Other roles for faith-based organizations in SVORI include: providing guidance to the program through participation in the program's steering committee, serving as community advocates for SVORI, or being involved in unique program components. For example, of the SVORI programs with Community Accountability Panels, 27 percent have representatives from faith-based organizations on these panels. Of those that utilize offender-specific reentry teams, 39 percent include faith-based representatives on the teams. In some programs, faith-based organizations are extensively involved in day-to-day service coordination. Case management is provided by faith-based organizations prior to release in 13 programs, and post-release in 16 programs. A detailed example of faith-based involvement in one of the SVORI programs, the Michigan adult program, is provided.