Degree Name

MPH (Master of Public Health)


Public Health

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

James L. Anderson, Joanne Walker Flowers

Committee Members

Tiejian Wu


Persistent high levels of crime in this country have provided support for the need for public programs that help in reducing crime rates through effective interventions. Spirituality and religion are considered to play a major part in determining an individual's attitude towards committing a crime. This study analyzed if inmates in State and Federal prisons in the US are involved in prison religious activities and personal prayers in order to determine if criminality (measured by offense type) of inmates affects their participation in religious activities. Based on logistic regression analysis, gender, race, and marital status of inmates were found to be significant predictors of inmates' religious participation. Offense type was not a significant predictor in determining inmates' participation in religious activities. The study shows up to 60% of the inmates participate in some kind of religious activity. The implications for further research are discussed along with the potential for further evaluation of the relationship between religion and crime.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Public Health Commons