Title

The prison chaplain as a facilitator in assisting incarcerated women with their spiritual formation, personal growth, and institutional compatibility

Date of Award

January 2000

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

DMin

Abstract

The purpose of this project was to empower the incarcerated women at the Jefferson Correctional Institution in Monticello, Florida, through the use of a faith-based program, 'Empowered to Endure Hardship.' The project consisted of sixteen (16) consecutive weeks of group participation, involving 75 women who were divided into two groups. Group A, the target group, consisted of 45 women who completed the questionnaires and participated in all of the group sessions and activities. Group B, the control group, consisted of 30 women who only completed the questionnaires.

The sessions in which the target group participated included video and audio preaching tapes, live preaching, group interaction and discussions, prayer and a short devotional period at each session. All of the sermons contained one common thread: How to overcome or endure hardships in life. Practical examples were given for endurance and overcoming techniques were demonstrated.

The overall hypothesis was as a result of Group A's participation in an organized structured group, the participants would receive fewer disciplinary reports, corrective counseling reports, and confinement visitations than those in Group B. While this goal was attained by Group A, there was not enough significant difference in Group B to merit any real attention. This does not mean the project was a failure. For in the ensuing weeks after the project was completed, the members of Group B continued to ask that another group be formed in which they could participate to receive the same empowerment that Group A had received.

This model of ministry for the women at Jefferson Correctional Institution is ongoing and allows for additional components of ministry as future needs arise.