Are Faith Based Programs Effective in Reducing Recidivism?
A Case Study of Muslim Parolees in NSW
Although Muslims comprise 5.3% of the NSW population, they account for 9.3% of prisoners in correctional centres. The high rate of Muslim representation in the prison population is the result of longterm neglect of the needs of second and third generation of Muslims by the wider Muslim community and by governments. This article first argues the high rate of the Muslim population in the prisons is not a failure of Muslim community alone, but is a product of a combination of individual, familial and societal failures due to various factors. These factors are multidimensional and need to be identified accurately to fashion appropriate responses. This article proposes a strategy for reintegration of Muslim parolees into society and reducing recidivism in prisons based on the experiences from a parolees mentoring program, which was conducted in 2016 by a community based institution, Islamic Science and Research Academy of Australia (ISRA), in collaboration with Bankstown Community Corrections Centre (a department of NSW Corrective Services). The findings show a mutual collaboration between NSW Corrective Services and faith-based organisations can assist in reducing recidivism in Muslim parolees.
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