National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Religiousness and Post-Release Community Adjustment in the United States, 1990-1998 (ICPSR 3022) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

This study assessed the effects of male inmate religiosity on post-release community adjustment and investigated the circumstances under which these effects were most likely to take place. The researcher carried out this study by adding Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal history information to an existing database (Clear et al.) that studied the relationship between an inmate's religiousness and his adjustment to the correctional setting. Four types of information were used in this study. The first three types were obtained by the original research team and included an inmate values and religiousness instrument, a pre-release questionnaire, and a three-month post-release follow-up phone survey. The fourth type of information, official criminal history reports, was later added to the original dataset by the principal investigator for this study. The prisoner values survey collected information on what the respondent would do if a friend sold drugs from the cell or if inmates of his race attacked others. Respondents were also asked if they thought God was revealed in the scriptures, if they shared their faith with others, and if they took active part in religious services. Information collected from the pre-release questionnaire included whether the respondent attended group therapy, religious groups with whom he would live, types of treatment programs he would participate in after prison, employment plans, how often he would go to church, whether he would be angry more in prison or in the free world, and whether he would be more afraid of being attacked in prison or in the free world. Each inmate also described his criminal history and indicated whether he thought he was able to do things as well as most others, whether he was satisfied with himself on the whole or felt that he was a failure, whether religion was talked about in the home, how often he attended religious services, whether he had friends who were religious while growing up, whether he had friends who were religious while in prison, and how often he participated in religious inmate counseling, religious services, in-prison religious seminars, and community service projects. The three-month post-release follow-up phone survey collected information on whether the respondent was involved with a church group, if the respondent was working for pay, if the respondent and his household received public assistance, if he attended religious services since his release, with whom the respondent was living, and types of treatment programs attended. Official post-release criminal records include information on the offenses the respondent was arrested and incarcerated for, prior arrests and incarcerations, rearrests, outcomes of offenses of rearrests, follow-up period to first rearrest, prison adjustment indicator, self-esteem indicator, time served, and measurements of the respondent's level of religious belief and personal identity. Demographic variables include respondent's faith, race, marital status, education, age at first arrest and incarceration, and age at incarceration for rearrest.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

Dataset - Download All Files (4.4 MB)

Study Description

Citation

Sumter, Melvina T. RELIGIOUSNESS AND POST-RELEASE COMMUNITY ADJUSTMENT IN THE UNITED STATES, 1990-1998. ICPSR03022-v1. Tallahassee, FL: Florida State University [producer], 2000. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2001. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03022.v1

Persistent URL:

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (99-IJ-CX-0001)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   arrest records, church attendance, church groups, correctional facilities, criminal histories, male inmates, parole, postrelease programs, prison adjustment, psychological wellbeing, religious behavior, social reintegration

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1990--1998

Unit of Observation:   Individuals.

Universe:   Male inmates from 12 prisons in the United States.

Data Types:   survey data, and administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

For more information on the study conducted by Clear et al., users should refer to the related publications section of the codebook.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   Whereas numerous criminological studies have investigated the impact of correctional programs on post-release community adjustment, only a handful of published studies have examined the influence of religion on managing the inmate population or as a key predictor for inmate recidivism. The study sought to answer the following questions: (1) Are post-release rearrest rates related to an inmate's participation in religious worship and study? (2) If so, what type of effect does religiousness have on favorable post-release community adjustment? and (3) How do the dimensions of inmate religiosity influence post-release community adjustment?

Study Design:   The researcher carried out this study by adding official criminal history information to an existing database (Clear et al.) that studied the relationship between prisoners' religiousness and adjustment to the correctional setting. Four types of information were used in this research. Three types of information were gathered by the original research team through an inmate values and religiousness instrument, a pre-release questionnaire, and a three-month post-release follow-up phone survey. A fourth type of information, official criminal history reports, was added to the original dataset by the principal investigator. The study was based on a quasi-experimental design of two groups of prisoners, a religious group and a non-religious comparison group. In the original data collection, inmates completed a battery of questionnaires about their background characteristics, religious beliefs and activities, and institutional experiences during the last weeks before their release from prison. Within three months after their release, surveys were conducted with inmates who could be reached by telephone. However, the original study contained no measures of post-release criminal behavior. The principal investigator of this study added criminal histories obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for 320 subjects in the original dataset. This dataset also includes a six-year follow-up period, making it possible to assess the relationship between an inmate's religiousness in prison and his post-release community adjustment.

Sample:   Unknown.

Data Source:

self-enumerated questionnaires, telephone interviews, and official criminal history reports

Description of Variables:   The prisoner values survey collected information on what the respondent would do if a friend sold drugs from the cell or if inmates of his race attacked others. Respondents were also asked if they thought God was revealed in the scriptures, if they shared their faith with others, and if they took active part in religious services. Information collected from the pre-release questionnaire included whether the respondent attended group therapy, religious groups with whom he would live, types of treatment programs he would participate in after prison, employment plans, how often he would go to church, whether he would be angry more in prison or in the free world, and whether he would be more afraid of being attacked in prison or in the free world. Each inmate also described his criminal history and indicated whether he thought he was able to do things as well as most others, whether he was satisfied with himself on the whole or felt that he was a failure, whether religion was talked about in the home, how often he attended religious services, whether he had friends who were religious while growing up, whether he had friends who were religious while in prison, and how often he participated in religious inmate counseling, religious services, in-prison religious seminars, and community service projects. The three-month post-release follow-up phone survey collected information on whether the respondent was involved with a church group, if the respondent was working for pay, if the respondent and his household received public assistance, if he attended religious services since his release, with whom the respondent was living, and types of treatment programs attended. Official post-release criminal records include information on the offenses the respondent was arrested and incarcerated for, prior arrests and incarcerations, rearrests, outcomes of offenses of rearrests, follow-up period to first rearrest, prison adjustment indicator, self-esteem indicator, time served, and measurements of the respondent's level of religious belief and personal identity. Demographic variables include respondent's faith, race, marital status, education, age at first arrest and incarceration, and age at incarceration for rearrest.

Response Rates:   Unknown.

Presence of Common Scales:   Several Likert-type scales were used.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

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