Survey Says: The Prisoner’s Journey Facilitates Lasting Change
When you provide someone in prison with the Gospel, you create lasting change in their life.
How do we know? Check out these encouraging results from an ongoing survey of prisoners who have graduated from TPJ in Romania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
This survey was developed in partnership with Dr. Byron Johnson and team as a way to evaluate the effectiveness of TPJ through qualitative evidence of positive change in the lives of program graduates. The survey was administered prior to the beginning the course and then again after course graduation. Before starting The Prisoner’s Journey, 67% of respondents reported that they rarely prayed. When compared to responses after completing the course, only 1.6% of graduates reported that they only prayed on rare occasions, with 53% of course graduates now reporting that they now pray at least once daily.
We see a similar trend between pre- and post-program responses regarding participants’ hope for the future. Before attending TPJ, 76% of respondents reported that they felt negatively about the future. After completing the course, 91% express positivity and hope for their future – a significant change!
And these behavioral shifts are having further positive impacts in their lives.
When asked to report the number of family visits before completing the course versus after, we saw a 53% increase in the number of prisoners receiving family visits. Perhaps most compelling is that prisoners reported 57% less violent acts in their prisons after The Prisoner’s Journey was introduced as a program.
It’s not only the participants who are reporting these positive effects; we are hearing it from prison officials as well. A custodial official in The Philippines recently shared, “I have not received a complaint about Juana [a prisoner] since she joined The Prisoner’s Journey several weeks ago. She used to boss others around, shout swear words and hurt other prisoners. These days, she respects prison officers and no longer provokes fights. We now see her smiling often and helping other prisoners who need assistance. Her countenance is calm and cheerful. What a relief for us, as prison officers, to see her transformation!”
The spiritual benefits of TPJ are eternal, but the program is also proving key to ensuring that prisoners have a stable foundation for re-entry when released. This makes re-offending less likely to occur and helps them, their families and communities break free of the cycle of crime – a goal that is at the heart of everything that we do.