Religious Participation Among Prison and Jail Inmates
Marguerite Bryan, Ph.D., the researcher/educator of the NSU-BSO Partnership and faculty member of the Criminal Justice Institute of Nova Southeastern University, has recently been contracted by the Mellen Publishing Company to write a book on religious participation among prison and jail inmates. The book will seek to address the gaps in knowledge about religious participation among inmates: What factors are associated with inmates’ participation in religious activities and what implications might these factors have for corrections programming? Are male or female inmates more likely to participate? Are there other factors affecting participation such as age, race, ethnicity, marital status, being a parent or not? To what extent is social class, including educational level, occupation and income, also factors of influence?
There are several significant implications of this knowledge including: a) providing insight into how religious programming could be implemented in prisons, such as who to target/address for such programming or who should be responsible for carrying out this implementation; b) providing support for a policy of expansion of religious programming to inmates, should participation be found to be positively associated with good behavior among inmates in prison; and c) religious programming in the era of economic cutbacks might be a low cost way of providing some sort of rehabilitative activity to inmates.