Faith Based Corrections

One of my first projects upon taking office is to implement a faith and character based correctional initiative in an effort to reduce recidivism and disciplinary infractions in the Durham County Jail. I believe by offering faith and character based programs, in a positive environment, to inmates interested in an inner transformation will create a better atmosphere in the jail. It also provides the inmates with a variety of activities and classes focused on their personal growth and character development to make productive use of time.
  Without additional cost to the County, I plan to employ residential clustering to concentrate program offerings among like-minded inmates, utilize mentors and provide an open public forum for community volunteers interested in making a difference in inmates' lives. The volunteers provide encouragement and positive reinforcement which helps inmates take well-defined steps toward mature and responsible living.
  People of faith have consistently shown an interest in working with those incarcerated in prisons to help bring about their rehabilitation. In fact, many terms associated with prisons, such as rehabilitation, reformatory and penitentiary, came into existence because of the reformative efforts of people of faith in the late 18th Century. The early reformers typically wanted to construct the physical architecture and the practices within the modern prison in ways that would encourage inmates to be transformed or more accurately reformed while serving their sentences.
  In recent times, faith groups have provided vital services within prisons, such as supplementing in-house ministries, mentoring inmates, providing traditional services such as Bible studies, and running programs such as release preparation. Despite these far-reaching efforts, formal rehabilitation programs were not usually associated with a faith agenda and were the domain of the medical and behavioral sciences. This has changed in the very recent past as...