Seminaries in the System: The Effects of Prison Seminaries on Recidivism, Inmate vi olence, and Costs [open pdf - 905KB]
From the Thesis Abstract: "Rehabilitation is one of the main goals of the correctional system, with numerous and varied programs being implemented for centuries. The United States spends millions on rehabilitation programs, yet recidivism rates, prison violence, and correctional costs continue to rise. This thesis explores how prison seminaries are addressing these issues and in the process, changing inmates' attitudes and behaviors. Examining Angola, the first prison seminary that became a model for many subsequent prison seminaries, including interviews with inmates and prison staff, reveals how inmates' attitudes and behaviors changed as a result of their seminary. Similar programs that follow Angola's model were also reviewed to determine if there was a reduction in acts of violence and a change in inmates' prosocial behaviors as a result of the programs. This thesis analyzed quantitative evidence in the form of prison statistics and inmate conduct records to determine if prison seminaries lower rates of recidivism as well as inmate violence. Legal case studies were used to evaluate the constitutionality of prison seminaries. Finally, this thesis identified reasons why prison seminaries are changing the overall culture of prisons, including individual identity transformations, the activities of inmate ministers, and participation in religious activities. The findings reveal prison seminaries are reducing both recidivism rates and inmate violence, which reduces the overall costs of incarceration."
Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: https://calhoun.nps.edu/