[URBANTH-L]Connecting Papers and Panels for AAA 2006

Angela Jancius acjancius at ysu.edu
Fri Jan 27 16:09:35 EST 2006

Networking: If you have ideas for panels--or are looking for papers for
your panel or a panel for your paper--send a short note either to me or to
 to all SUNTA members via the URBANTH-L listserv
(urbanth-l at lists.ysu.edu)

The below abstract is for a work in progress. I am looking for a panel that
might be a good fit.

Thanx, bdf

Beverly D. Frazier, M.Div, MBA
Ph.D. Candidate
Program for Religion and
Social Policy Research
3815 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Pre-Dissertation Fellow
Program for Research on Religion
and Urban Civil Society
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104


Ethnographic Portraits from a Faith-based Cognitive-Behavioral
Reentry Intervention and Program in the Philadelphia Prison System:
REST Philly

Beverly D. Frazier,
School of Social Policy and Practice
University of Pennsylvania

Dissertation Committee:

Ram Cnaan, PhD., Chair
Elijah Anderson, PhD.
John DiIulio, PhD.

Each year hundreds of thousands of individuals are incarcerated and
released - more than ever in American history, more than anywhere else in
the world. Many of those released return to communities and families that
have limited capacity to support their reentry. These men and women entered
jail or prison with limited human, social, spiritual and economic/financial
capital which is further depleted during their imprisonment. They received
little rehabilitation through pre- or post-release reentry interventions and
programming. Most ex-prisoners need such resources and guidance in securing
housing and employment, reconnecting to families, and overcoming substance
abuse. Also, over the past decade there has been an increase in the number
who 'churn' or recycle through prison and parole.

There are, therefore, enormous opportunities for programs and interventions
to enhance the public safety, health, and cohesion of the communities that
are at the center of this cycle by improving reentry outcomes for
ex-prisoners. The literature has shown that institutions of faith can and do
play a significant role in easing the reentry process. With the expansion of
charitable choice legislation and growth of the federal Office of
Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, public funding for faith-based
reentry programming and interventions has increased and continues to
increase. Yet, there are only a few studies on faith-based prisoner reentry
interventions and programming. Some evidence suggests that faith-based
programs may be effective in improving prisoners' behavior, reducing
recidivism rates and improving inmates' adjustments to life after
incarceration. However, there is no research that provides a comprehensive
picture of the values, spiritual norms and shared understanding of life
among prisoners during their reentry process. If faith-based programs are
effective, even for a subgroup of ex-prisoners, we need to know how the
process of reentry is constructed and shaped.

This proposal outlines the significance, necessity, and feasibility of a
nine-month ethnographic site study of Black and Hispanic women who
participated in REST Philly, a faith-based reentry intervention and
aftercare program. The study takes place in two primary locations: a
Philadelphia Prison System correctional facility and a local
Philadelphia-based congregation. The study begins during a three-month,
faith-based cognitive-behavioral intervention, while subjects are still
incarcerated, and continues for six months post-release, while subjects
participate in a faith-based reentry support group. The same group of women
will be studied throughout the nine-month period.

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