Title

"First Stop Dying": Angola's Christian Seminary as Positive Criminology

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-1-2017

Subject Area

ARRAY(0x55fccae7d010)

Abstract

This article offers an ethnographic account of the "self-projects" of inmate graduates of Louisiana State Penitentiary's (aka "Angola's") unique prison seminary program. Angola's Inmate Minister program deploys seminary graduates in bivocational pastoral service roles throughout America's largest maximum-security prison. Drawing upon the unique history of Angola, inmates establish their own churches and serve in lay-ministry capacities in hospice, cellblock visitation, tier ministry, officiating inmate funerals, and through tithing with "care packages" for indigent prisoners. Four themes of positive criminology prominently emerge from inmate narratives: (a) the importance of respectful treatment of inmates by correctional administrations, (b) the value of building trusting relationships for prosocial modeling and improved self-perception, (c) repairing harm through intervention, and (d) spiritual practice as a blueprint for positive self-identity and social integration among prisoners.

Publication Title

International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

Volume

61

Issue

4

First Page

445

Last Page

463

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1177/0306624X15598179

PubMed ID

26246368

ISSN

0306624X

E-ISSN

15526933

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