Take part in this survey of formerly incarcerated folks about your re-entry experiences with religious communities

Source: University of Delaware

Dr Chrysanthi Leon and Maggie Buckridge are interviewing formerly incarcerated folks about their re-entry experiences with religious communities. They are especially interested in learning about what religious communities provide for people on the sex offender registry. In addition to speaking with those who found a church or another place of worship to join, they are also interviewing people who wanted to join a place of worship but did not because of various barriers. The purpose of this study is to examine what re-entry practices for religious communities people find beneficial, and what practices they find stigmatizing and harmful.

  • What are re-entering persons hoping to find in religious participation and community after incarceration?
  • What is it like to join or re-join a religious community after incarceration?
  • What practices deter re-entering persons from attending or partaking in certain religious communities?

Participants will receive a $20 gift card as a token of appreciation. Interviews typically last around 60-90 minutes. Please pass this along to anyone you know who may be interested in participating.

If you have any questions, or are interested in participating, please reach out to Maggie Buckridge: bmaggie@udel.edu and Dr. Chrysanthi Leon: santhi@udel.edu.

If you are interested,  click here to download the study consent form PDF.

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I can tell you what they offer. Judgement!

I was ” allowed” in a church after i was released form jail , How ever I was to be escorted by two special decons . Who made it a special event. I never went back.

Churches are forced to carry insurance because of people who sue. Because of the high number of lawsuits against a certain large Church denomination, insurance carriers advise their clients not to allow registrants to attend…at all. The fact that some churches still allow attendance with an escort(s), (witnesses) is testimony of at least a willingness on the part of some leaders of churches to minister to the whole community. Unfortunately, this method of coping with liability lends itself to “fronting off” the escorted as anyone with a brain in the church knows when something is “off” in this regard. Then the flesh kicks in and the tendency to discriminate ensues and the “mission” (Jesus’ commission to belivers to minister to their neighbors and treat people as they would like to be treated) is quickly forgotten. When I started to attend my very first church after incarceration (10yrs), I talked to the pastor and told him of my situation. I explained that I was not obligated to do this, but I was dealing with my newfound freedom in a way that I had charted before my release. And one of those methods was to inform the pastor of my situation to help him minister to me and let him know, before someone else did,(who might copy my license plate down and do a search on the owner of the vehicle and thus my name and thus a background search as is commonly done by deacons or their counterparts at many churches so they know who they are dealing with). This let him know that my intentions were good and I was not trying to hide anything but at the same time, not getting up in front of the whole church and announcing my status. I chafe at having to do this as a free-person, but I chose to humble myself and do it for the better of the body of believers to maintain some sort of fellowship. Eventually, most of the people got to know me as a human being (I have a sterling sense of humor), observed me for many years with my blameless behavior, and when they discovered (as they will in time) my predicament, they couldn’t believe I was the same person that they would normally demonize. So it was a perilous balance that I walked for about three years until I decided that it was right for me to do a regular tithe (donation) other than my usual, low profile cash deposit into the offering plate. I made a donation with my name on it electronically which was sent to the main church office (this particular church is huge, with about twenty-thousand members throughout California with a church in just about every major city here). So, as you all might guess, somebody at the head office flagged the minuscule offering that was electronically tagged with my name and location of the city, and did a background check. The response to my pastor was immediate and harsh. My pastor pulled me aside the next Sunday and said that he needed to speak to me after the service. I was nervous as a new Navy recruit in a room full of near to retire drill Sergeants. After the service, he took me to the office and said that the head pastor of all these churches of twenty thousand people wanted him to immediately expel me from his congregation because I was a registrant. My pastor told me that he went to bat for me (because of my approach of being candid with him about my past) and this is, I believe vital, he told that pastor that I wasn’t trying to hide, that I had indeed already informed him of my situation before I started attending. That gave this mega-church-pastor-leader pause for thought. This was different, one of the demonized going to the local pastor leader and being upfront with this distasteful thing. So he changed his mind. Did you hear me?….He changed his mind and allowed me to continue attending the local congregation, but I was spared “the escort” and was told to try to be in full view at all times with everybody and not try to be in a location that was isolated. I was elated. I could continue to go to this church that I loved, by doing the very things I was doing already, all along, being in the open and making my life an open book. It was a risk to my pride that I’m glad I took.

This church attendance and this “escort” or “chaperone” is a bit of a downer after prison or probation. So where does the right of freedom of religion come in. Government seems to want to play the spy in the sky. Does not the bible say fear no evil or what does mankind in many ways put on others. Who’s conscious is guilty or are we all sinners.

While I have mentioned a bit about my reentry or going to go to church to fellowship of my own (free will) to hear the word and the recent obstacles that can came up it can all comes down to who is doing the evil in these registry issues even with the bait traps. The curiosity of others is only human as we are all curious, even jealous of others but that is only human nature of carnal man. So are we all weak, are we all still sinners or where we all born with knowledge and understanding about these situations.

If people don’t accept sinners in their churches than who do they accept? I’m sure there’s no problem with a murderer going to church if the person has the conviction to learn and understand the word and yes the fellowship can be a good experience also. Seems to me from these comments some don’t even want to go to church or many want their cake and eat it to so to speak. So who is giving a false balance in many ways to the safety factor type registry that effects many other issues in life.

Yes government hinge this registry all on a scheme of a peradventure type to stir up another by playing the harlot of their own demise. So government is not so innocent in many of these ordeals or the person presenting the con, or do we all have a conscious.
Note when one has to be escorted or chaperoned that is taking free will away and that right their is bit unconstitutional. Just ask John MacArthur out in CA

I approached a Church minister at a friend’s place of worship about my offense and was immediately rebuffed. His wife, who showered me with affection and “ Godly” praise, suddenly was to busy to greet me. I find the majority of parishioners to be so wrapped up in their own pious as to be able to step down off their platforms of righteousness in order to do God’s work. Their idea of walking the path of Jesus ends at anything beyond shaking hands in the parking lot at church.