Skip to comments.The best way to stop prisoners reoffending? Send evangelicals to proselytise them
Posted on 07/01/2010 7:40:15 AM PDT by Schnucki
At the risk of giving Richard Dawkins a heart attack, theres one man Ken Clarke, the Justice Secretary, really ought to meet, and hes Chuck Colson. The former Nixon advisor, who went to jail for his involvment in the Watergate scandal, has spent decades promoting evangelical Christianity to American prisoners. And its very clear that his work has cut crime.
In Texas, for example, reoffending dropped from 55 per cent to eight per cent for those who took part in his InnerChange prison programme. Officials are effusive with praise. Joan Fabian, the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Corrections said: I was skeptical in the beginning, but it is one of the best things that weve done in our system. I think its a program that is just the right one when nothing else worked.
Some evangelicals have tried to expand this programme into Britain, most notably into Dartmoor Prison. The organisers who went into that prison claimed that the prisoners on the scheme saw their outlook, their behaviour, even their appearance undergo transformation in most cases. That didnt stop InnerChange being booted out, after huge opposition from quangocrats, who see Christianity as intolerant of homosexuals and other religions.
Well, despite the efforts of friends, I dont believe in God, and I also have libertarian social views. But Im concerned about what works, and if Christianity can provide a crutch that stops convicts falling back into a life of mugging and robbing everyone else, who cares if the religions true, or even if its a bit un-PC?
(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.telegraph.co.uk ...
Early n our history, we sent criminals to do penance. They were given a Bible and a cell. This is where the word penitentiary came from.
I have a better idea...let them choose....banishment to the untold numbers of uninhabited islands in the pacific or if they re-offend an automatic public square lashings, ala Singapore style and the third time a slug to the back of the head at sun up.
“In Texas, for example, reoffending dropped from 55 per cent to eight per cent for those who took part in his InnerChange prison programme.”
In Texas, we lock the scum up for a very long time and kill the ones who commit murder.
If you wind up in a Texas prison for a short stint, after seeing those things you will try your hardest not to want to go back there. Add in religion and accountability and the rate of recidivism goes down.
Well, the ones for whom "it" "works" care, because if it's not true, it's useless.
Then there are the ones in power, who care very much, and want it NOT to be true.
That's a pretty freaking dramatic shift.
If any of the counseling programs beloved of liberals were anywhere near this effective, it would be shouted from the rooftops.
But since Christians are having the effect, it will be ignored, if not prohibited.
I don't care if it's true, and I don't really care about the convicts going to [insert afterlife punishment here] if it's not. I care about them committing crimes again, and if this works then by all means keep doing it.
Christianity is not a ‘crutch’. as a matter of fact when you consider that dying to self and obedience to what God asks of you is part of how you demonstrate your love for God — it is a much harder life. These guys are learning their value and the value of others in the eyes of God and are being changed from the inside out (different from other faiths).
My dad was a corrections officer who helped with Prison Fellowship at his institution. It changes everything.
Texans....read the book about the ‘meanest man in Texas’ if you think the effect of Christianity on prisoners is a crock. Christianity is not Islam. Totally different paradigm.
Well, it's playing with numbers a bit, since it says:
"reoffending dropped from 55 per cent to eight per cent for those who took part in his InnerChange prison programme."
Say there are 100 prisoners, and 8 of them are expected to keep clean while 92 are expected to reoffend. That's an 8% success rate.
Then Mr. Colson shows up and offers his InnerChange program. 15 inmates, let's say, sign up and 85 don't.
If the 8 non-reoffenders all sign up with his group, they will be about 55% of the 15 member InnerChange program. So that's a 55% success rate - not for the prison as a whole, but for InnerChange.
In other words, the percentage of reoffenders within InnerChange is meaningless unless we have the percentage of total inmates who joined InnerChange.
There may have been no change at all in the total percentage of reoffenders. I doubt it, but the data we're given doesn't prove anything.
Actually my math is incorrect.
If 92% of the inmates who opted for InnerChange were drawn from among that non-reoffending 45 (say 12 inmates sign up, and 11 of them are drawn from that 45) then it does not indicate that InnerChange was a drtamatic success in the context of the whole prison population.
Even with the corrected math, there is not enough data given to prove the thesis that InnerChange had a dramatic effect overall.
The total reoffending rate among all inmates, not just InnerChange volunteers, is the key stat that is missing.
Unless I’m confused, the reoffend rate for all released prisoners is the 55% mentioned, with the reoffend rate among InnerChange participants at 8%.
This is, of course, a self-selected group. Presumably those who participated were those who wanted to turn their lives around and they would for this reason have been less likely to reoffend even had they not participated in the group. Those who are content with their lives as criminals aren’t likely to join the group.
But I still think the statistic is quite amazing.