xvi Introduction
Dubler’s (2014) Down in the Chapel: Religious Life in an American Prison is a
fascinating account of religious life in Pennsylvania’s maximum-­security
prison at Graterford. The author provides an ethnographic account of how
prisoners with life sentences use faith as an identity resource and coping
mechanism in a religiously pluralistic setting. Although the inmates’ accounts
are incredibly rich and instructive, the study is limited to prisoners with life
sentences in the state of Pennsylvania.
Volume editor Kent Kerley’s (2015) Current Studies in the Sociology of Reli-
gion is an edited volume that brings together scholars from around the world
to study the impact of religion on a broad range of outcomes. It is a unique
“snapshot” of current work being done in the sociology of religion, and reflects
the diversity of authors, locations, topics, and faith traditions. Although this
volume is comprehensive and interdisciplinary, the focus is much broader
than religion in prison life; only 3 of the 18 chapters focus on religion in cor-
rectional contexts.
Most recently, Hallett and colleagues (2017) published the research mono-
graph, The Angola Prison Seminary: Effects of Faith-­Based Ministry on Identity. This
work includes results from a groundbreaking new seminary program avail-
able to inmates at one of the largest and best-­known prisons in the United
States. Data collected included a survey of inmates, as well as in-­depth inter-
views with inmates and staff. Although the results are quite in­ter­est­ing, they
are limited to a single program in one prison fa­cil­i­ty.
About the Editor
I have over 16 years of experience conducting high-­quality research on
faith and faith-­based programs in prisons and halfway ­houses in the United
States. This research has culminated, to this point, in 10 peer-­reviewed arti-
cles, one research monograph, one edited collection, and seven book chapters
or encyclopedia entries. My research articles have appeared in well-­respected
outlets, including International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative
Criminology, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Journal of Crime and Jus-
tice, and Social Forces. Through this experience and professional contacts, I have
recruited leading scholars from across the world that study religion in prison
life from a scientific perspective.
Overview of Content
This volume is divided into three parts. Part 1 is entitled Perspectives on
Religion in Prison Settings and includes a review of conceptual, theoretical, theo-
logical, and ­ legal issues at the fore for ­ those studying faith and faith-­based
programs in prisons. In Chapter  1, Johnson and colleagues explore the
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