Feb 21, 2013

Georgia State University Study Offers New Perspective on Religion as a Deterrent to Crime

A recent article by Canadian news agency, Postmedia News, looks at a study on interpretations of religion used to justify criminal activity.  The study, conducted by three Georgia State University professors, is titled “With God on my side: the paradoxical relationship between religious belief and criminality among hardcore street offenders.” Using interviews with 48 persons who professed a belief in God and were actively engaged in street crime, the authors investigated perceptions of early death, belief in the afterlife, and notions of redemption and punishment. The researcher’s claim that the study’s findings offer a counter-narrative to the notion of religion alone as a deterrent to crime, without active moral direction and additional support services to help offenders get on the right track. As a result, this research has implications has implications for the administration of faith-based services inside the corrections system and out.  Click here to read the article, and here to check out the study.