Prisoner Reentry

The Potential of Faith-Based Correctional Models

Nancy La Vigne
Director of the Justice Policy Center, Urban Institute

Key Findings

  • FCBIs help promote the long-term success of inmates in the community.
  • FCBI inmates have no poorer recidivism outcomes than do similar general population inmates.


This study recommends ways to improve Faith- and Character-Based Institutions (FCBI). From establishing a shared vision to treating inmates as people and not criminals, the study identifies the importance of clear goals, objectives and strategies for FCBIs to be effective. More specifically, the authors of the study recommend delivering tailored training to staff, reevaluating inmate selection processes, enhancing FCBI program offering sand expanding FCBIs based on capacities to support diverse programming, space requirements and potential volunteers.

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