Estimating the Benefits of a Faith-Based Correctional Program


  • Grant Duwe Minnesota Department of Corrections
  • Byron R. Johnson Baylor University



Prisoner reentry, recidivism, employment, religion, cost-benefit analysis


A recent outcome evaluation of the InnerChange Freedom Initiative (InnerChange), a faith-based prisoner reentry program that has operated within Minnesota's prison system since 2002, showed the program is effective in lowering recidivism. This study extends research on InnerChange by conducting a cost-benefit analysis of the program. Because InnerChange relies heavily on volunteers and program costs are privately funded, the program exacts no additional costs to the State of Minnesota. As a result, this study focused on estimating the program's benefits by examining recidivism and post-release employment. The findings showed that during its first six years of operation in Minnesota, InnerChange produced an estimated benefit of $3 million, which amounts to nearly $8,300 per participant. Much of this benefit stems from costs avoided as a result of the program's impact on reoffending.

Author Biographies

Grant Duwe, Minnesota Department of Corrections

Grant Duwe is the Director of Research and Evaluation for the Minnesota Department of Corrections. His recent research has been published in Criminal Justice Review, Justice Quarterly, Criminal Justice Policy Review, Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, Criminal Justice and Behavior, International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, and Crime & Delinquency. Dr. Duwe is also a non-resident senior fellow at Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion.

Byron R. Johnson, Baylor University

Institute for Studies of Religion


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How to Cite

Duwe, G., & Johnson, B. R. (2013). Estimating the Benefits of a Faith-Based Correctional Program. International Journal of Criminology and Sociology, 2, 227–239.