Faith Behind Bars; Rekindling a Hope for the Earthly Convicts

International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume II, Issue IX, September 2018 | ISSN 2454–6186

Faith Behind Bars; Rekindling a Hope for the Earthly Convicts

Rev. Dr. Manya Wandefu Stephen

Alupe University College, Kenya

Abstract: – Throughout the history of humanity, faith has been used as a rehabilitation tool as well as tool of hope. Particularly for a troubled and stressed population psychologists have commended the use of faith convictions as part of the remedies of such situations.The use of prison religious programs presents a unique opportunity to channel inmates into the straight and narrow. In this regard, faith is being used as a tool for the rehabilitation of inmates in prison owing to the restrictive and restorative qualities faith has had in the course of history. This paper explores the use of faith and the role of faith providers in the process of rehabilitating inmates in Kenyan prisons.

Key terms: Inmates, Faith, Prison, Chaplain, rehabilitate Faith programs.

I. INTRODUCTION

The use of prison religious program presents a unique opportunity to channel inmates into the straight and narrow way. In this regard, faith is being used as a tool for the rehabilitation of inmates in prison owing to the restrictive and restorative qualities faith has had in the course of history. Nathaniel and Pallone (2002) have observed that, since the time of penitentiary, prison religion has played an integral role in the lives of incarcerated offenders. In Kenya, Pastoral Care Council, a 2008 Act, points out that religious chaplain, spiritual visitors and pastoral cares engage with prisoners on the understanding that no person is intrinsically evil. By that fact that one is human means that there is a depth and richness of humanity that can be called to surface of the person’s life and be in a relationship that supports a spirituality that is at the core of self-identity and sense of purpose in life. In this way then, faith is directed into the offender’s life in hope of winning them back to the right way.

II. A REHABILITATING FAITH

Religion plays a large role in restructuring the lives of several inmates. The concept of Prison Ministry believes in supporting religious and spiritual beliefs of the inmates. This gives them a faith to hold on to, in times when they need it the most. Many a times, this gives the felons a new purpose in life. It helps them to re-establish the lost beliefs in themselves, share their uplifting experiences with other inmates, and cope up with the brutality of prison life.

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