University of Hertfordshire

Measuring religion in prisons: Offenders' beliefs and attitudes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)130-149
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychology Practice
Journal publication date12 Dec 2008
Volume8
Issue2
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Dec 2008

Abstract

This article reports on ways to measure and assess the effects of living within a religious regime, comparing Kainos prisoners with matched control participants. Kainos is a Christian, cognitive behavioral regime run in English prisons. In this article, we consider prisoners' attitudes toward religion and provide objective information regarding the impact of a religious intervention on the religiosity of prisoners. We present data from three scales: the Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith (SCSORF; Plante & Boccaccini, 1997a); the Age Universal I-E (Intrinsic-Extrinsic) Scale (Maltby, 2002; Maltby & Lewis, 1997); and the Francis Attitudes Towards Christianity Scale (Francis, 1993b; Francis, Lewis, Philipchalk, Brown, & Lester, 1995; Lewis & Maltby, 1997; Lewis, Shevlin, Lloyd, & Adamson, 1998). Two hundred and sixteen prisoners participated, from across all prisons in which Kainos ran. The Kainos program attracted prisoners who were already seeking spiritual sustenance. Religious prisoners held at normal, non-Kainos locations were less likely to retain their beliefs. There are implications for how the Prison Service could better sustain spirituality among the imprisoned.

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