Write a paper discussing the role religion play in helping inmates such as lifers in Angola make the adjustment to civil society.

Reflection Paper after you watch the videos.A few months after he became warden of Angola Prison, Louisiana State Penitentiary, the Warden ofAngola Prison approached New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with an unusual request
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The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with more than two million people behind bars. Among these inmates, a significant portion is serving life sentences without the possibility of parole, commonly referred to as lifers. For lifers, adjusting to civil society upon release becomes an extremely difficult and daunting task. Religion and spirituality have played a crucial role in the rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates into society. This paper aims to explore the role religion plays in helping lifers in Angola make the adjustment to civil society.


Angola prison, also known as the Louisiana State Penitentiary, is one of the largest and oldest maximum-security prisons in the United States. The prison has gained national recognition for its unique rehabilitation program, known as the “Angola Prison Seminary.” This program is entirely run by inmates and is designed to provide theological education to prisoners, many of whom are serving life sentences. The seminary offers various courses suc

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h as Old and New Testament studies, Greek, Hebrew, and Theology.

Role of Religion in Rehabilitation:

Incarceration is often a dehumanizing experience, and many inmates lose their sense of purpose and hope while behind bars. Religious and spiritual practices provide a sense of purpose and meaning to lifers’ lives and can help them cope with the psychological stress of long-term incarceration. Religious beliefs and practices can provide a framework for self-reflection and self-improvement, which can help inmates become better citizens upon release.

The Angola Prison Seminary program has a profound impact on the inmates who participate in it. According to a report by The Marshall Project, the program’s participants are less likely to commit new offenses after their release than non-participants. The seminary program provides inmates with a community of like-minded individuals who are dedicated to their spiritual growth and rehabilitation. This community can help inmates develop a sense of belonging and purpose, which can be critical for lifers.

Religion also plays a critical role in the development of moral character. Religious teachings emphasize the importance of living a virtuous and moral life, which can help lifers develop a sense of moral responsibility and accountability. This sense of moral responsibility can help lifers develop a stronger sense of empathy and compassion, which can be essential for reintegrating into society.


In conclusion, the role of religion in helping lifers in Angola make the adjustment to civil society is significant. The Angola Prison Seminary program provides lifers with a sense of purpose, meaning, and community, which can be critical for their rehabilitation and reintegration. Religious teachings also help lifers develop moral character and a sense of accountability, which can be essential for becoming productive members of society. Given the significant positive impact of the Angola Prison Seminary program, it is essential to invest in similar programs in other correctional facilities across the United States.

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