This thesis explores the differences in effectiveness of secular and faith-based post-release reentry programs by answering three questions: how these are programs different from one another, why these programs are different, and if the outcome of the individual is affected by these differences. Nine in-depth interviews were obtained from seven different reentry programs. Three of the programs were faith-based and four of the programs were secular. This study focuses on the missions of the organizations, resources and services offered, and how each type of program approaches their clients with respect to their stigma and label. Rational choice, biosocial, social structure, and social process theories, as well as social and cultural capital theory, and labeling and stigma theories are applied to the data collected in this study. It was found that neither secular nor faith-based reentry programs are better than the other because they both contain positive aspects that are beneficial to a successful reintegration. This study suggests that a reentry program should be created that encompasses positive features of both types of programs. Future studies are suggested to conduct more interviews from each program, along with more programs and to include more participants as well as staff.


Clayton, R. Bruce


Sociology and Anthropology



Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2009 Dory Gayler