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 rainpanda
Joined: 10/2/2005
Msg: 1
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There isn't enough information in this article, and it raises a lot of questions. For instance, is this type of prison going to be only accessible to those who agree to pursuing religious counseling? Will atheists be sent off to worse facilities? Can they really avoid spending any state money on the religious activities conducted, i.e, guards' time when assigned to transporting or overseeing prisoners during the group sessions? If Jeb Bush and other state government officials have spent their time getting this project off the ground, then government money has already been spent on it. Is this going to be regarded by some prisoners as a potential way to faster parole? Is faster parole expected to happen by the prison officials? Weren't a lot of people who committed crimes already of some particular religious persuasion and it didn't necessarily help them to avoid becoming criminals? I see the article says 28 religions are represented, including wicca (that must have been a particularly hard one for Bush to swallow! LOL)--but who is deciding what are religions? Did voters get to vote on this initiative?

Questions, questions. LOL

~ Panda


Faith-Based Prisons: Officials Cite Success, but Critics Worry About the Separation of Church and State
By Vicki Mabrey and Sarah Rosenberg
ABC News

Jan. 27, 2006 - In a place where there are so many prisons, they call it the iron triangle.

It is a place where a group of more than 800 inmates aren't necessarily being punished but being enlightened. Where is this place? Raiford, Fla.

Florida is where nearly half of all felons released end up back in prison within five years. The state's prison system doesn't seem the most likely to enlighten its inmates.

In December 2003, Gov. Jeb Bush converted the medium-security Lawtey Correctional Institution into the nation's first entirely faith-based prison.

The governor put his plan into motion by stating "people of all faith, people who believe in a higher power are compelled to take actions in their lives that improve their chances of living a wholesome life that is crime-free."

At Lawtey, 28 different religions are represented -- Christianity, Orthodox Judaism, Wicca, Scientology.

"You don't know what it means to trust in the Lord until he's broken you ... the Lord spoke to my spirit and I asked him 'why me?' and he said 'why not you?' I believe in this program. I believe in faith-based prison," preached inmate Tony Love. Love said he found God at Lawtey.

Constitutional Principles

But what about the separation of church and state? Isn't this violating that mandate?

Officials at the Florida Department of Corrections say no, because all the religious materials and time devoted to religion come from more than 600 volunteers representing a variety of faiths.

But the Rev. Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State called this arrangement "constitutional quicksand."

Lynn said that "parts of a government cannot be run by religion, and it's just as wrong for the state of Florida to set up, in any way, a faith-based prison as if it were setting up its own faith-based schools, its faith-based fire department or police department."

Since Bush oversaw the conversion of Lawtey, Florida's Department of Corrections has opened two more faith- and character-based prisons -- one for inmates serving long sentences and another that's exclusively for women.

The state plans to open as many as 30 more. The state believes that these kinds of programs mean less disciplinary action and lower recidivism, but no scientific study has proved anything of that nature.
 foxefire
Joined: 2/23/2005
Msg: 2
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Faith-based prisons
Posted: 3/10/2006 12:19:04 AM
Anytime religion is mentioned within the confines of government today people cry, "Separation of Church and State". Many people think this statement appears in the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution and therefore must be strictly enforced. However, the words: "separation", "church", and "state" do not even appear in the first amendment. The first amendment reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." The statement about a wall of separation between church and state was made in a letter on January 1, 1802, by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut. The congregation heard a widespread rumor that the Congregationalists, another denomination, were to become the national religion. This was very alarming to people who knew about religious persecution in England by the state established church. Jefferson made it clear in his letter to the Danbury Congregation that the separation was to be that government would not establish a national religion or dictate to men how to worship God. Jefferson's letter from which the phrase "separation of church and state" was taken affirmed first amendment rights. Jefferson wrote:

I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. (1)

1. Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson Writings, Merrill D. Peterson, ed. (NY: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984), p. 510, January 1, 1802.

 rainpanda
Joined: 10/2/2005
Msg: 3
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Faith-based prisons
Posted: 3/10/2006 12:32:16 AM
foxefire: I'm sure a lot of readers at this forum were already aware of that information, but I'm sure your efforts to educate will nonetheless be welcomed. :) Apparently your citation was from http://www.noapathy.org/tracts/mythofseparation.html ?

~ Panda
 longte
Joined: 10/18/2004
Msg: 4
Faith-based prisons
Posted: 3/10/2006 1:54:46 AM
""At Lawtey, 28 different religions are represented -- Christianity, Orthodox Judaism, Wicca, Scientology""

Well they do seen to have covered most bases here

Only notable exceptions are the fastest growing Religion on Earth, Islam, and Buddhism

They are really saying that if someone has a Belief System in place, there is less chance of them offending in future, and rehabilitation could be easier
..
.
 twobits45
Joined: 12/4/2005
Msg: 5
Faith-based prisons
Posted: 3/10/2006 2:37:46 AM
Unless it's someone with such great credentials as Rev Jesse Jackson or Rev Al Sharpton, the true liberal hates anything that that might have to do with "faith." They are more tolerative of the isolated few religions they can understand and grasp, but things like "religious right" just blows their mind and has them crying "uncle" (which in "liberalese" means "separation of church and state" or "Help! ACLU, where are you?") If it were up to them we would not be a country with freedom for religion, but a rather freedom from religion. Religion to them is so personal, you have to keep it out of public life, and need to keep it to yourself. In the liberal world, they don't understand that one faith makes up the person identity and that by quelching ones faith they quelch one identity. In their mind it's just "religious ideas" that need to be kept to yourself. That way, they don't have to deal with these ideas they cannot understand. After all Science is our God anyway and we worship the grounds of evolution....after all, we don't believe in many absolutes...but we are absolutely sure evolution is. And abortion. Handing anything over to these "other" religions (outside our sphere of control) is not something the liberal mind can tolerate.
 CaptainLucid
Joined: 9/13/2005
Msg: 6
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Faith-based prisons
Posted: 3/10/2006 5:55:48 AM

Unless it's someone with such great credentials as Rev Jesse Jackson or Rev Al Sharpton, the true liberal hates anything that that might have to do with "faith."


I still don't know any of these "true liberals" who have any national power. Jackson and Sharpton are just two stupid camera whores who are actually great for republicans because they give FOX news great strawmen to cut down instead of the meaningful people.


If it were up to them we would not be a country with freedom for religion, but a rather freedom from religion.


Actually we Libertarians want both and are trying to deliver on both. Your argument can be simplified to the Libertarians want oranges, therefore we can not have apples which is a complete batch of excrement. The hard core religious right's argument is we like apples so you must eat apples. Ours is a matter of we will decide for ourselves and you will decide for yourselves. Quite fair. Your attitude is I am right and you will do what I believe to which I say "Go F*ck yourself.


Religion to them is so personal, you have to keep it out of public life, and need to keep it to yourself. In the liberal world, they don't understand that one faith makes up the person identity and that by quelching ones faith they quelch one identity. In their mind it's just "religious ideas" that need to be kept to yourself. That way, they don't have to deal with these ideas they cannot understand.


No stupid keep trying. If you wan't to get up on a soap box and preach jesus under the hot august sun, more power to you. I'll be chillin in my house draining a beer. If you religious types start telling me I can't buy more beer after a certain time thems fighting words. If you don't want beer at 3 AM don't buy it but please, stay the F*ck out of my life.


In the liberal world, they don't understand that one faith makes up the person identity and that by quelching ones faith they quelch one identity.


Not true, we know that you religious types build everything around faith. The scariest part is when we nonreligious hear you talking about how if there was no religion there would be no reason for you not to rape, murder, and pillage. Atheists and Agnostics recognize personaly that killing and raping are not good. We will hold on to those beliefs. Compare that to hard core religious types who see nothing wrong with murder and rape. All you need is a jesus salesman or muhammed salesman to convince them that god said it was ok this time and big ass war. Not that this is a problem to me as long as it is just between you fundie types. I look at it like the Bloods vs the Crips. As long as you aren't hitting us sensible people with bullets please go on killing each other. Hell I would even pitch in some bucks for extra ammo if you fundies were going against the muslims just to keep it going.


After all Science is our God anyway and we worship the grounds of evolution....after all, we don't believe in many absolutes...but we are absolutely sure evolution is. And abortion. Handing anything over to these "other" religions (outside our sphere of control) is not something the liberal mind can tolerate.


Seriously, what do evolution and abortion have in common? One is a theory of how animals arrived at their present state the other is a medical procedure. They have nothing to do with each other. I am tired of hearing you dumb ass conservatives just throwing any negative words you can regardless of and often with complete lack of knowledge their meaning hoping something sticks. And we all agree science is our god. Even those who deny it still place their trust in it. Even you you stupid ****. Ever driven accross a long bridge? What do you think holds it up? Is it the product of mathematics, materials science, aerodynamic testing, and modern construction methods or some jesus salesman told you it would work? Seriously tell me straight up would you rather trust a panel of engineers or a jesus salesman before you drove that bridge?
 foxefire
Joined: 2/23/2005
Msg: 7
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Faith-based prisons
Posted: 3/10/2006 6:23:52 AM

foxefire: I'm sure a lot of readers at this forum were already aware of that information


I don't care what you thought. I know some don't.
 certified male
Joined: 12/2/2004
Msg: 8
Faith-based prisons
Posted: 3/10/2006 6:28:06 AM
I think faith based prisons may be a good thing....it'll speed up the process of convicts finding their "God".....
 twobits45
Joined: 12/4/2005
Msg: 9
Faith-based prisons
Posted: 3/10/2006 5:05:33 PM
No stupid keep trying. If you wan't to get up on a soap box and preach jesus under the hot august sun, more power to you.
Bothers you doesnt it. However, i wasn't preaching Jesus. But if thats what you read, then you already had enough beers.


I'll be chillin in my house draining a beer. If you religious types start telling me I can't buy more beer after a certain time thems fighting words. If you don't want beer at 3 AM don't buy it but please, stay the F*ck out of my life.
No problem here, enjoy your beer. Drink it til you are paranoid....errr, well, maybe til you are not paranoid I mean.




Not true, we know that you religious types build everything around faith.
If this is your argument, it just got undermined by you own "stupidity" for lack of a better word. Did I build something on my faith? What are you talkling about? Is this the beer talking again?


The scariest part is when we nonreligious hear you talking about how if there was no religion there would be no reason for you not to rape, murder, and pillage.
Who is "you?" Are you hearing voices???...or seeing them on this forum?


Atheists and Agnostics recognize personaly that killing and raping are not good. We will hold on to those beliefs. Compare that to hard core religious types who see nothing wrong with murder and rape. All you need is a jesus salesman or muhammed salesman to convince them that god said it was ok this time and big ass war. Not that this is a problem to me as long as it is just between you fundie types.
What's a "fundie?" Anything to do with Al Bundy?


I look at it like the Bloods vs the Crips. As long as you aren't hitting us sensible people with bullets please go on killing each other.
The Crips and the bloods often kill innocent people, though, just for the colors they wear. But I guess as long as it isn't in your neighborhood it doesnt bother you. That says more about your motive than anything you have written here.



Hell I would even pitch in some bucks for extra ammo if you fundies were going against the muslims just to keep it going.
Well, then hire some fundies if you are such a fan of war (but, not rape and murder...unless its' Crips and Bloods killing people that aren't in your neighborhood). Didn't the Bush administration fund a war? I thought you would be opposed to that. I know I am.





Seriously, what do evolution and abortion have in common?
Nothing...but try and keep up. It's hard to type real slow for you......



I am tired of hearing you dumb ass conservatives just throwing any negative words you can regardless of and often with complete lack of knowledge their meaning hoping something sticks. And we all agree science is our god. Even those who deny it still place their trust in it. Even you you stupid ****.
I dont think I have been called a conservative since I left the Republican party....but it doesnt bother me. I admittedly take the conservative side on some things. Or were the cool swear words supposed to be the insult?


Ever driven accross a long bridge?
Gosh....I think we a have few here in Kansas..
What do you think holds it up?
Fundies and their God?? I give up. Is this a trick question?
Is it the product of mathematics, materials science, aerodynamic testing, and modern construction methods
Durn, it looked like a lot of concrete to me....

or some jesus salesman told you it would work?
No, it doesnt look like a bunch of Jesuses holding it up. Did you think that because He walked on water? No Jesus walked on water and bridges go across the water. Big difference.


Seriously tell me straight up would you rather trust a panel of engineers or a jesus salesman before you drove that bridge?
Well, let me think. I have heard of bridges falling. But when Jesus walked on water...He never fell or even tripped. I will go with Jesus.
 Truth Seeker
Joined: 8/2/2005
Msg: 10
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Faith-based prisons
Posted: 10/7/2007 1:06:15 PM
I was looking to see if anyone was discussing the plans by the criminal Canadian Harper government, of publicly funding "faith" based schools. Religion based jails? Same deal. Bad idea; very bad.
I am always amazed at how confused and controlled the human race is. First of all, you all are talking about religion not faith. Religion has deliberately altered the meaning of faith, which has nothing to do with religion, and does not mean the same thing.
There is no way I will ever accept public funding for brainwashing/hypnotizing the simple minded, and teaching superstition(religion). The truth is far more spiritual and real.
Belief is also not the same thing as faith. Belief is foolish, and unless someone has an IQ around 140+ and a good heart, I won't be explaining what faith is. It is pointless to explain faith to someone hypnotized/brainwashed by religion.
It isn't in the US or Canadian constitution that Religion should play no part in Government, but perhaps it should be.
Religion is just another means to control your minds; not for the better either!
 nedly
Joined: 10/18/2005
Msg: 11
Faith-based prisons
Posted: 10/7/2007 10:59:46 PM
There is an old saying 'There are no atheists in foxholes or prisons".

Every con looks towards "religion" as a way out of prison. It's part of the parole system, if you don't attend some sort of religious counselling/services you won't get out on "Good Behaviour".


It really doesn't make them any better people. Religious people offend just as much as non-religious people do. Extremely religious people are probably far more likely to commit offences, often in the name of the"god' they worship.

"Do as they say and not as they do"and "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." is not a concept that most felons understand or follow. There is a reason why they are in prison - they didn't follow those two simple rules.. Simply preaching at them or letting them read a "holy book" is not a solution that works.
 verygreeneyez
Joined: 3/15/2006
Msg: 12
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Faith-based prisons
Posted: 10/7/2007 11:22:51 PM
~OT~ My ex-father-in-law had a theory on religion in jail/prison: more time out of the cell. I have to agree. And I also agree, it's highly unlikely that this is going to work because John Doe who is sentenced 5 to 10 can claim to be any faith he chooses if he thinks he might get sent somewhere other than the usual/ordinary/everyday prison. My political affiliation has no bearing on my opinion. You do the crime, you are found guilty by a Judge or jury of your peers, you plea bargain on a guilty plea ~ you should go right in the system like every other Tom or Joe or Jane.

There are however, three "pilot programs" out there, one being in Indiana, in which the facility is actually a "Reform/Reentry Units." Those three test facilities have the lowest re-entry rate out of any prison in the US. Morgan Spurlock did a documentary on this and even spent 30 days inside a regular lock-down prison versus the Reform planned prison and it was staggering the footage differences. Religion may guide a person to a path of goodness for some, but lifeskills, punishment and re-training are required to make a difference. The bottom line ~ those men and women can only succeed if they have the tools, the wherewithall and the interest in doing so. I don't believe religion is the answer. To each their own ~ my vote would be for more Reform/Reentry Units nationwide ~ where offenders can learn skills needed to live on the outside. There are many men/women who are up for parole/probation and purposely violate while still inside so they won't be released. Several documentaries on HBO have covered this. They are afraid to be out here, they don't know how to cope. Especially those who have been in for a long length of time or are repeat offenders. There is much more to the problem than just finding John Doe a facility that would cater to his/her religious beliefs. JMO
 swamp thing
Joined: 9/3/2007
Msg: 13
Faith-based prisons
Posted: 10/8/2007 8:01:13 AM
Education is what reduces recidivism. Religion is a step in the opposite direction. It perpetuates magical, unrealistic thinking and excuses people from personal responsibility. The last thing you want to do with inmates is school them in rationalization, when what they need instead is knowledge, skill and opportunity.
 Love_on_fire
Joined: 12/31/2006
Msg: 14
Faith-based prisons
Posted: 10/8/2007 8:44:34 AM
This is an interesting topic and I would just like to make mention of some statistics that I heard when comparing Christian and non-Christian prisons and rehab centers( I am approximating , as I don't remember the exact percentage ), but I heard on a program that in a non-Christian-based prison the criminals that were released, re-offended again around 70 to 80 % of the time....however in a Christian based prison, when a criminal that served time was released, only 7 % to 10% re-offended again. That difference jumps out at you, when you compare the success rates between a Christian and a non- Christian prison.

Also,.....when it comes to drug/alcohol rehabilitation, in secular/non Christian centers, the sucess rate (for a specific year I can't remember which one) , but the success rate in rehabilitation of the drug/achohol addicts was around 20-30%. In Christian drug rehab centers, the sucess rate of rehab was again over 70% which is pretty good.

Again I don't remember the EXACT percentages, but I gave the general range of the percentages as I remembered hearing it.
 capegardengirl
Joined: 4/29/2006
Msg: 15
Faith-based prisons
Posted: 10/9/2007 4:39:57 PM
"The true liberal hates anything to do with faith"

As a practicing Unitarian Universalist for 12 years and a liberal, I must not be a "true one" then

When does the ignorance and stereotyping stop???
 capegardengirl
Joined: 4/29/2006
Msg: 16
Faith-based prisons
Posted: 10/9/2007 4:45:57 PM
"there is so much more to the problem than just finding John Doe a facility that would cater to his/her religious beliefs"

So true...The real test of whether or not someone stays clean and sober is often whether or not they follow up the drug rehab program with long term 12 step meetings and outpatient therapy...Rehab programs only get the person sober, they dont do much to prevent people from relapsing again nor do they give the recovering person tools to stay sober
 Truth Seeker
Joined: 8/2/2005
Msg: 17
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Faith-based prisons
Posted: 1/11/2008 6:22:04 AM
I don't know if "Love on Fire" is being honest or not but I know that TV is BS. TV is a propaganda machine, a brainwashing machine, very little is truth, and boy does it work great at dumbing people down! Those facts/figures are nonsense.
Religion does not reform nor enlighten, it enslaves; by design; always has.
Want to know what Jesus really is? Download and watch the documentary "Zeitgeist" found at:
http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/dloads.htm
This will actually enlighten, IF you are not totally mind controlled.
 h0ldfast
Joined: 12/19/2006
Msg: 18
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Faith-based prisons
Posted: 1/11/2008 9:39:31 AM
Maybe the anti-religious lobby should set up a faith-free prison (FFP), where prisoners aren't allowed to have any sort of spiritual belief or religious counseling. Instead, they would be force fed political correctness and self-help programs, and forced to watch daytime television talk shows.
 CharlesEdm
Joined: 9/16/2006
Msg: 19
Faith-based prisons
Posted: 1/11/2008 12:26:01 PM

Maybe the anti-religious lobby should set up a faith-free prison (FFP), where prisoners aren't allowed to have any sort of spiritual belief or religious counseling. Instead, they would be force fed political correctness and self-help programs, and forced to watch daytime television talk shows.


Nah how about we just let churchs run church programs. Criminals go to religious services if they want to, and leave the forced conversions to the religious nutjobs of the pre 18th century?
 beltaine
Joined: 2/27/2006
Msg: 20
Faith-based prisons
Posted: 1/11/2008 12:46:02 PM

Instead, they would be force fed political correctness and self-help programs, and forced to watch daytime television talk shows.


Isn't there a statute against cruel and unusual punishment?
 Truth Seeker
Joined: 8/2/2005
Msg: 21
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Faith-based prisons
Posted: 1/11/2008 2:05:40 PM
The prison system is a joke. Religion won't help; no kind of brainwashing and lies will help. The whole approach has to be changed. People make mistakes and instead of being helped to become better people(NOT religious) they are locked away and screwed up much worse in jail. They are treated worse than animals and many of them really are innocent.
They are raped, drugged, beaten and worse. I find this embarrassing as a human being. They need to be reeducated and taught how to be good people in a safe and healthy TRUTH BASED environment.
 rsx11s
Joined: 3/28/2007
Msg: 22
Faith-based prisons
Posted: 1/11/2008 3:53:49 PM

In Christian drug rehab centers, the sucess rate of rehab was again over 70% which is pretty good.


So you're saying people whose brains are messed up resonate well with organized religion?
 CharlesEdm
Joined: 9/16/2006
Msg: 23
Faith-based prisons
Posted: 1/11/2008 5:21:01 PM

Also,.....when it comes to drug/alcohol rehabilitation, in secular/non Christian centers, the sucess rate (for a specific year I can't remember which one) , but the success rate in rehabilitation of the drug/achohol addicts was around 20-30%. In Christian drug rehab centers, the sucess rate of rehab was again over 70% which is pretty good.


Citation? The heavily religion based 12 step programs actually have a success rate lower than people quitting on their own.
 badge3939
Joined: 8/10/2007
Msg: 24
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Faith-based prisons
Posted: 1/11/2008 5:27:34 PM

Citation? The heavily religion based 12 step programs actually have a success rate lower than people quitting on their own.


If you are asking for a citation.
So where is your citation to your statement?
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