The Formerly Incarcerated and the Church

Remember! Changing paradigms about mass incarceration and issues around it mean being deliberately considerate about the terminologies we use. Although these articles may use terms like, “ex-offender,” we’d prefer to refer to our brothers and sisters who have been incarcerated as “formerly incarcerated” or “returning citizens.”

Religion, Reform, Community: Examining the Idea of Church-based Prisoner Reentry
Omar M. McRoberts, University of ChicagoIMG_1469
“…The task of effecting “permanent behavioral change” in ex-offenders is taken to be the domain of the social world outside prison walls. Churches, which are taken as expert alchemists in the transformation of sinner to saint, are considered natural and ideal candidates for this work. Second, the language of “reintegration” into “community” and “neighborhood” via religious institutions implies a certain understanding of churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples as “community institutions.” The assumption is that churches are open communities—that is, they are open to serving nonmembers as well as members, and they are somehow embedded in the social life of the neighborhoods where they happen to congregate. These assumptions certainly are valid; indeed, many religious communities around the country offer compelling support for such assumptions. But these assumptions are not the only valid ones we can or should make in our strategic thinking about prisoner reentry.”
Read the full article…>>Religion, Reform, Community- Examining the Idea of Church-Based Prisoner Reentry

Other resources:

The Church in the World: Ecumenism and Prison Chaplaincy
Ben W. Bledsoe
Religion as a Source of Social Change in the New South Africa
Robert C. Garner
Prison Theology: A Theology of Liberation, Hope and Justice
Sadie Pounder
Criminal Rehabilitation : The Impact of Religious Programming
Adam Gerace, Andrew Day
From Tent Meetings and Store-Front Healing Rooms to Walmarts and the Internet: Healing Spaces in the United States, the Americas, and the World 1906-2006
Religious Influences on Understandings of Racial Inequality in the United States
Penny Edgell and Eric Tranby
Religion and Rap Music: An Analysis of Black Church Usage
Sandra L. Barnes
Religion and Politics in the Sixties: The Churches and the Civil Rights Act of 1964
James F. Findlay
Religion and Coping: A Contribution from Religious Studies
Susan Kwilecki
Religion and African American Political Life
Jacqueline S. Mattis
Legal Cynicism, Collective Efficacy, and the Ecology of Arrest
David Sl Kirk and Mauri Matsuda
We Never Call the Cops and Here is Why: A Qualitative Examination of Legal Cynicism in Three Philadelphia Neighborhoods
Patrick J. Carr, Laura Napolitano, Jessica Keating
Religion and the Reintegration Experiences of Drug-Involved African American Men Following Incarceration
Sidney R. Jacobs
Church Culture as a Strategy of Action in the Black Community
Mary Pattillo-McCoy


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