The Legacy of John Gerstner, Presbyterian Historian and Mentor to R.C. Sproul https://t.co/TEB3YHM9iI Thomas Kidd, @TGC
Multiracial Congregations Have Nearly Doubled, But They Still Lag Behind the Makeup of Neighborhoods - Kevin Doughe… https://t.co/4dLX5IXpRs
Canada’s Supreme Court Ruling Is a Grave Blow to Religious Freedom—and Not Only in Canada https://t.co/4vJDZuSTlw… https://t.co/kWNHK7u8Xn
Urbi et Orbi: Pope Francis has pursued Christian unity. But the culture wars and the growth of newer Christian chur… https://t.co/kiM2SaZ9Yr
"Living Holy Ghost Girl": The 2018 Werlin Lecture featuring author Donna M. Johnson - June 22 at #Baylor https://t.co/vbhbSq6Uvj
The Family Feud that Changed the Shape of Christian Higher Education https://t.co/lyVS4wyvjn Barry Hankins via @CTMagazine
Southern Baptists Call Off the Culture War https://t.co/tYKgnnwpQZ @JonathanMerritt @TheAtlantic quotes Barry Hankins #sbc18
Brandon O’Brien on Isaac Backus and Religious Liberty https://t.co/6BxDbf0AfA @RoRcast
To survive our high-speed society, cultivate 'temporal bandwidth' | Alan Jacobs https://t.co/w0rFjoALIk @ayjay @guardian #Baylor
For Linda Livingstone, #Baylor's future is tied to research https://t.co/e10hr5o9hD? @wacotrib

Byron Johnson to Head Up New Behavioral Study to Explore Impact of Bible-Based Programming in Prisons

Contact: Lindsey Frederick, 703-554-8669

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2018 /Standard Newswire/ — Prison Fellowship International (PFI) today announced the commencement of a 40-month study to show the impact of a Bible-based program, The Prisoner’s Journey®, in prisons throughout Colombia, Nigeria, and South Africa.

There are more than 22,000 prisons worldwide, and more than 10 million incarcerated. Over the last 15 years, the worldwide prison population has grown almost 20 percent with the rate of repeat offenders soaring as high as 50 percent. Critics of contemporary criminal justice argue that by focusing exclusively on punitive justice, prisoners are not effectively rehabilitated and demonstrate greater difficulty reintegrating back into society and remaining outside the crime cycle upon release.

Prison Fellowship International developed The Prisoner’s Journey evangelism and discipleship program to address this issue by appealing to the internal transformation of prisoners as a rehabilitative method. First piloted in Nigeria and South Africa in 2014, it has spread to 30 countries, reaching nearly 400,000 prisoners, and is expected to reach 1 million prisoners by 2020.

“During the four years we’ve been running The Prisoner’s Journey we’ve found when a prisoner is transformed at a heart-level, his or her chances of thriving outside of prison dramatically increase,” says Prison Fellowship International Director of Prison Programming Rae Wood. “We receive regular reports from prison officials that prisoners are calmer and fewer fights breakout among inmates after they go through the program. This study will be a breakthrough for us in empirically demonstrating the program’s long-term impact on the individual, the prison culture, and the local community.”

The study will be led by Dr. Byron Johnson, a prominent expert on the scientific study of religion, faith-based rehabilitation programs, and criminal justice. In February, the research team will begin collecting baseline data to launch a comparative analysis of prisoner behavior and outcomes between prisons that implement The Prisoner’s Journey programs and those that do not. The study will also provide a prison cost-savings analysis of the program from reduced prison incidents, lower recidivism rates, and the prosocial benefits from family (re)engagement and improved employment for ex-prisoners. Johnson will publish his findings in relevant academic and peer-reviewed journals over the next three years.

ABOUT PRISON FELLOWSHIP INTERNATIONAL:
Prison Fellowship International helps restore justice and healing in response to crime in more than 120 countries. For more information visit
www.pfi.org.

ABOUT DR. BYRON JOHNSON:
Byron Johnson is Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University and founding director of the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion. He is recognized as a leading authority on the scientific study of religion, the efficacy of faith-based organizations, offender treatment, and recidivism reduction. His recent book, The Angola Prison Seminary: Effects of Faith-Based Ministry on Identity Transformation, Desistance, and Rehabilitation, uses survey analysis along with life-history interviews of inmates and staff to examine the impact of faith and the implications of religious programs for American correctional systems.