Measuring religion in prisons: Offenders’ beliefs and attitudes

Adler Joanna A, JP Burnside, [No Value] Nancy Loucks, Viki Tendayi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


This article reports on ways to measure and assess the effects of living within a religious regime, comparing Kainos prisoners with matched control participants. Kainos is a Christian, cognitive behavioral regime run in English prisons. In this article, we consider prisoners’ attitudes toward religion and provide objective information regarding the impact of a religious intervention on the religiosity of prisoners. We present data from three scales: the Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith (SCSORF; Plante & Boccaccini, 1997a); the Age Universal I-E (Intrinsic-Extrinsic) Scale (Maltby, 2002; Maltby & Lewis, 1997); and the Francis Attitudes Towards Christianity Scale (Francis, 1993b; Francis, Lewis, Philipchalk, Brown, & Lester, 1995; Lewis & Maltby, 1997; Lewis, Shevlin, Lloyd, & Adamson, 1998). Two hundred and sixteen prisoners participated, from across all prisons in which Kainos ran. The Kainos program attracted prisoners who were already seeking spiritual sustenance. Religious prisoners held at normal, non-Kainos locations were less likely to retain their beliefs. There are implications for how the Prison Service could better sustain spirituality among the imprisoned.
Translated title of the contributionMeasuring religion in prisons: Offenders’ beliefs and attitudes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130 - 149
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychology Practice
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008


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