I was going to post this in the Religious Discussions forum until I read the 'sticky'
I don't know how one can discuss any complex subject without using some 'criticism' - so this topic is hereThis forum is dedicated and limited to discussions of religion, faith, and spirituality. Threads/posts critical of religion and spiritual aspects are not allowed here
Here's a link to the abstract of the studyNew study raises questions about religion as deterrent against criminal behaviour
A provocative new study is challenging assumptions about the deterrent effect of religion on criminal behaviour. The U.S. study found that through “purposeful distortion or genuine ignorance,” hardcore criminals often co-opt religious doctrine to justify or further their crimes. The findings could have important implications, the researchers say, for how faith-based services are administered within the corrections system.
Prison ministries shouldn’t just be about presenting religious doctrine because some inmates might take religious teachings to excuse their behaviour, lead author Volkan Topalli, a criminal justice professor at Georgia State University, said in an interview Monday. “People have to understand that presenting religious doctrine to people isn’t enough to change their behaviour,” he said. “(Faith-based services) have to be systematic and about behaviour change — religion has to be a vehicle, rather than the goal.”
The bolded part is one aspect that I think will require further study and is certainly something that we may 'enjoy' discussing.With God on my side: The paradoxical relationship between religious belief and criminality among hardcore street offenders
Research has found that many street offenders anticipate an early death, making them less prone to delay gratification, more likely to discount the future costs of crime, and thus more likely to offend. Ironically, many such offenders also hold strong religious convictions, including those related to the punitive afterlife consequences of offending. To reconcile these findings, we interviewed 48 active street offenders to determine their expectation of an early demise, belief in the afterlife, and notions of redemption and punishment. Despite the deterrent effects of religion that have been highlighted in prior research, our results indicate that religion may have a counterintuitive criminogenic effect in certain contexts. Through purposeful distortion or genuine ignorance, the hardcore offenders we interviewed are able to exploit the absolvitory tenets of religious doctrine, neutralizing their fear of death to not only allow but encourage offending. This suggests a number of intriguing consequences for deterrence theory and policy.