FSU Researcher Examines Faith-Based Prison Programs

By: Leonard Horton
By: Leonard Horton

Since the mid 1980s, Lavinia Radel has served in prison ministry with Gadsden Correctional. She claims to have seen many women's lives changed.

"If I can teach them how to resolve their anger, to resolve their negative feelings, they can prevent what happened to them from happening to someone else," said Radel.

FSU criminology professor Dan Mears says, as it relates to faith-based prison programs, there is no research to show faith is what's making the difference in inmates turning their lives around.

The study, funded in part by the National Institute of Justice, suggests not that these programs should be ousted, but that there is not enough credible data to justify public support.

"They are very relevant. It can't be all fake," said Richard Crutcher with Gadsden Correctional.

A portion of this study appears in the August Journal of Criminal Justice.

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