Alternative Title

Mass Incarceration, Criminal Justice Reform and Reentry - Prison Outreach Ministry

Subject Area

Theology/Religious Education



The numbers are staggering and shocking. The United States of America leads all nations in having more people incarcerated in its federal and state prisons, jails, and detention centers. This thesis project is the lived experience of having had a ringside seat of human depravity and the effects of mass incarceration. Over the past 30 years, I have been on the front lines serving the inside behind the impenetrable menacing walls of our nation’s federal prison system Department of Justice Federal Bureau Prison (DOJ-FBOP), State prison system in Texas (TDCJ) as well as inside of a Naval Brig doing ministry as a Chaplain. It is estimated that each year more than 600,000 thousand individuals are released from state and federal prisons. Another 7 to 9 million cycle through local jails. Studies show that more than two-thirds of prisoners are rearrested within 3 years of their release and half are re-incarcerated. Incarceration and recidivism rates are out of control. Churches and para-church organizations can and must do something to address this national pandemic. The disease of mass incarceration has infected all aspects of our social order. Meaningful criminal justice reform, police reform, and effective transitional reentry programs that are transformative are cures to healing our land. This project aims to put forth a new 21st-century prison outreach model for churches and para-church organizations to reimagine how to do prison outreach ministry in addressing mass incarceration, criminal justice reform, and reentry.

Degree Date

Spring 5-14-2022

Document Type


Degree Name





Dr. Abraham Smith

Second Advisor

Dr. Harold Recinos

Third Advisor

Dr. Evelyn Parker


Key Words:

Federal Bureau of Prisons

U.S. Department of Justice

Reimagining Prison Outreach Ministry for the 21st Century and Beyond


Mass Incarceration

Children of Incarcerated Parents

Number of Pages




Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License