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The Positive Side Of Incarceration Essay

1291 words - 6 pages

Incarceration is the act of imprisoning a convicted felon. The negative effects of incarceration seem to overshadow how beneficial it can to those with misdemeanors. The power of the church draws the more religious inmates in and gives them a new insight to life and to their religion. Many of the incarcerated did not plan that they would be in jail or prison; many had reasons whether it was childhood or drugs and alcohol, there are now groups that the inmates may attend in order to gain support, positive feedback, and help from others in similar situations. Education programs are also available to any who wish to continue (young adults) or go back to school in order to acquire a GED. From finding faith in a religion, to having a group support system, to getting your GED incarceration can have positive effects on prisoners, despite the negative publicity of prisons.
Religion is too often pushed to the side and ignored by the people who need its spiritual healing and support the most. The impact of these religious programs can help inmates to “change their lives”, “[believe] in [themselves]”, and “[believe] in a better future” that awaits them upon their release (Gardner 24). Prison life can be a caustic experience to an inmate, violence and bad influences can highly influence their behaviors and many of these drown in the terrible consequences of prison, but there are still those few repenting inmates who wish to improve themselves and care about staying out of jail. Such prisoners are attracted to these programs due to their “curiosity about life” and their eager “search for clues to restoring [their] [lives]” (qtd. in Gardner). For these inmates the church welcomes them whole heartedly and gives them a safe environment to learn and grow by the religions standards. Religious programs can often offer “the possibility of social redemption”, where prisoners are able to change and become more favorable to society and their communities (Gardner 39). In a recent study done among incarcerated women, 96% had said they had found a religion that played a key role in their rehabilitation and that it had helped them turn their lives around in a way they never thought was possible (Parsons, Warner-Robbins 12). These religiously oriented groups have helped prisoners find their self-worth, making them even more determined to rejoin society as functional, spiritual, and law-abiding citizens. “Faith is most usefully understood as a social practice,” given this statement faith helps inmates to feel a part of a supportive and pious congregation (Gardner 23). In a community being included in a devout group can help previously known inmates to feel more excepted among their fellow citizens. Religion is an important rehabilitating process that prisoners need in order to renew and prepare them for the ever changing road ahead.
In addition to the religious programs in prisons, there are also many other types of support groups that help inmates struggling with...

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