Event Title

A Study of Faith-Based Organizations in Prison Reentry

Location

Exhibition Hall, DeVos Center

Start Date

28-3-2011 4:30 PM

Description

INTRODUCTION: Prisoner re-entry is a growing issue in this country. Nearly 650,000 people are released from jails and prisons each year with many returning because they lack the resources necessary for successful reintegration back into their communities. With budgets getting tighter and tighter, alternatives must be found. Faith-based organizations could be one such alternative. Faith-based organizations have proven themselves as viable options for helping marginalized groups like returning citizens. Yet, there is conflicted thinking on whether they are an appropriate resource in the re-entry process; in addition, there lacks substantial research in the area of faith-based organizations and their involvement in prisoner re-entry. This study is an exploration into one subset of faith-based organizations: churches. METHODS: Information was gathered from an organization called Healing Communities that provides curriculum and support to churches in Michigan. These churches are called Stations of Hope. This study focused on 8 of 14 churches with operational Stations of Hope in the greater Grand Rapids area. It looked at key areas in relation to being a Station of Hope: motivation to establish, activities and services provided, the roles they play, and current identified challenges. This study is hopefully a launching pad for continued research on the impact that faith-based organizations, like churches, can have on individuals, families and communities involved in the process called prisoner re-entry.

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Mar 28th, 4:30 PM

A Study of Faith-Based Organizations in Prison Reentry

Exhibition Hall, DeVos Center

INTRODUCTION: Prisoner re-entry is a growing issue in this country. Nearly 650,000 people are released from jails and prisons each year with many returning because they lack the resources necessary for successful reintegration back into their communities. With budgets getting tighter and tighter, alternatives must be found. Faith-based organizations could be one such alternative. Faith-based organizations have proven themselves as viable options for helping marginalized groups like returning citizens. Yet, there is conflicted thinking on whether they are an appropriate resource in the re-entry process; in addition, there lacks substantial research in the area of faith-based organizations and their involvement in prisoner re-entry. This study is an exploration into one subset of faith-based organizations: churches. METHODS: Information was gathered from an organization called Healing Communities that provides curriculum and support to churches in Michigan. These churches are called Stations of Hope. This study focused on 8 of 14 churches with operational Stations of Hope in the greater Grand Rapids area. It looked at key areas in relation to being a Station of Hope: motivation to establish, activities and services provided, the roles they play, and current identified challenges. This study is hopefully a launching pad for continued research on the impact that faith-based organizations, like churches, can have on individuals, families and communities involved in the process called prisoner re-entry.