Prisoners Helping Prisoners Change: A Study of Inmate Field Ministers Within Texas Prisons
Research on incarcerated offenders trained to help prisoners change is rare because programs that equip inmates with practical capacities for helping others rehabilitate in prison hardly exist. An exception is the Field Ministry program in Texas, which enlists inmates who have graduated from a prison-based seminary to work as “Field Ministers” and serve other inmates in various capacities. We hypothesize that inmate exposure to Field Ministers is inversely related to antisocial factors and positively to prosocial ones. We applied manifest-variable structural equation modeling to analyze data from a survey of a random sample of male inmates at three maximum-security prisons where the Field Ministry program operated. We found that inmates exposed more frequently to the Field Ministry and for a longer time period tended to report lower levels of criminological risk factors and aggressiveness and higher levels of virtues and predictors of human agency as well as religiosity and spirituality.
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Jang, S. J., Johnson, B. R., Hays, J., Hallett, M., & Duwe, G. (2020). Prisoners Helping Prisoners Change: A Study of Inmate Field Ministers Within Texas Prisons. International journal of offender therapy and comparative criminology, 64(5), 470–497. https://doi.org/10.1177/0306624X19872966