Religion long has been a tool for correctional treatment. In the United States, religion was the primary treatment modality in the first prisons. Only since the 1980s, however, have social scientists begun to study the nature, extent, practice, and impact of faith and faith-based prison programs. Bringing together the knowledge of scholars from around the world, this single-volume book offers readers a science- and research-based understanding of how prisoners use faith in everyday life, examining the role of religion in prison/correctional contexts from a variety of interdisciplinary and international viewpoints.
By considering the perspectives of professionals actually working in corrections or prison settings as well as those of scholars studying religion and/or criminal justice, readers of Finding Freedom in Confinement: The Role of Religion in Prison Life can gain insight into the most contemporary research on religion in correctional contexts. The book contains data-driven, conceptual, and policy-oriented essays that cover major religions such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam within correctional environments. It also addresses subject matter such as the roles of prison chaplains and correctional officers and the relationships between religion and common aspects of prison life, such as drug abuse, gangs, violence, prisoner identity, rights of prisoners, and rehabilitation.
- Presents an international scope that covers a diversity of faith traditions
- Comprises contributions from leading scholars who incorporate various research methodologies, such as surveys, in-depth interviews, participant observation, and content analysis into their writings
- Moves the discussion of religion in prison away from popular discourse, advocacy works, and media stories that prioritize emotion and sensationalism over empirical verification