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Title: Developing the theoretical foundation for faith-based reentry programming in the United States
Author: Bhatty, Isra
ISNI:       0000 0004 6500 5814
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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Against a backdrop of high incarceration and staggering recidivism rates, faith-based reentry programming has emerged as a solution to assist the successful reintegration of former prisoners in the United States. Despite increasingly popular partnerships between the government and faith-based organizations in the reentry context, the theoretical and evidentiary basis for this type of programming remains weak. Moreover, almost no evidence exists on the application of faith-based reentry programming to cultural and faith minorities, specifically American Muslims, who make up a significant segment of the incarcerated population. In accordance with evidence-based practice, this dissertation develops a theoretical foundation for understanding, developing, and evaluating faith-based reentry programming. The literature review component examines existing theories in criminology, sociology, and evidence-based practice regarding the process of desistance, the relationship between religion and crime, and the process by which faith-based programming affects re-offending. The qualitative research component interviews 37 "experts" on faith-based reentry programming for a niche population - namely, formerly incarcerated African-American converts to Islam. These experts include formerly incarcerated individuals in three cities, administrators of two existing faith-based programs, researchers, and policymakers. Findings from the literature review and qualitative research are synthesized to produce a theoretical framework for understanding and evaluating faith-based reentry programming generally, and this framework is used to design a sample program for the population interviewed. The research reveals that voluntary faith-based programming may be an effective way of promoting long-term desistance among the reentering African-American Muslim population given their unique challenges and needs, but several practical challenges remain. Finally, the dissertation recommends ways in which faith-based programs may partner with government while remaining effective, abiding by the law, and addressing infrastructural and capacity-related needs.
Supervisor: Gardner, Frances Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available