Some research has considered whether faith-informed programs help persons with a previous incarceration navigate a life away from crime. Few studies considered whether offense category moderates this relationship. Building upon studies that found a strong association between a prior sexual conviction and participation in religion in prison, we assess whether time spent in humanist, spiritual, and religious (HSR) programs in prison is associated with reconviction, separately for persons convicted of a sex offense and any other offense. Our results revealed that a higher level of participation in HSR programs was associated with a lower likelihood and rate of reconviction; however, this effect was more pronounced for persons with a prior sexual conviction. Supplementary analyses revealed that the use of religion in an extrinsic manner was beneficial, suggesting this group may look to religion to gain social support and overcome rejection and loneliness. Extrinsic religiosity among other groups, however, was associated with an increased risk of reconviction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- sex offense