PFI Faith-Based Program Transforms Prisoners, Prisons
Baylor University Research Provides Evidence
The initial findings from a comprehensive, longitudinal evaluation of the TPJ program by the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University have revealed that this program transforms prisoners’ lives. The research shows empirical evidence that through increasing prisoners’ religious engagement, TPJ increases their motivation for identity transformation, or, finding a new meaning and purpose in life despite their criminal past and current incarceration. It also helps them grow in virtue and reduces their aggression – all social indicators that they are on a path to successful rehabilitation. These constructive actions typically lead to a positive culture change within prisons.
These results could not come at a more crucial moment. The physical and mental health of prisoners all over the world are in jeopardy after more than 18 months of lockdowns and limitations on the visitations of family members, volunteers, and staff.
The pain and deprivation prisoners already experience in prison threatens not only their physical well-being, but their minds. The full psychological fallout from this additional level of isolation is still yet to be seen, but what we do know is prisons that run TPJ have been able to continue the courses throughout the pandemic, with graduates opting to take the additional eight-hour training to keep running the program with their fellow inmates.
The type of whole-person rehabilitation prompted by TPJ translates to profound implications on inmates’ lives when they are released from prison. Identity transformation means TPJ graduates are apt to recidivate less than other ex-offenders. It means following their release, prisoners can hope to reunite with their families in a demeanor of optimism and responsibility.
Further, prison officials report seeing noticeable, positive shifts in prisoners’ interactions with their families during visitation. It means they are more likely to adopt a mindset of responsibility toward future employment and vocation. These are the building blocks of breaking the cycle of crime. The program has a truly rehabilitative effect.
Learn more by downloading a free brochure about how The Prisoner’s Journey is transforming the lives of prisoners around the world.