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More God, Less Crime: Why Faith Matters and How It Could Matter More Paperback – May 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Templeton Press (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599473941
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599473949
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

There is mounting evidence that increasing religiosity not only reduces crime and delinquency, but it also promotes prosocial behavior. In spite of these findings, experts rarely include the “faith factor” in discussions of possible solutions to crime, drug use, offender treatment, or ex-prisoners returning to society. This failing can be attributed in equal measure to the secular criminal justice professionals who allow their own anti-religious prejudices to shape their judgements, as well as to the religious volunteers who rely so heavily on their own beliefs that they see no need to validate their work with actual research. These shortcomings have cost the American public untold damages in both wealth and safety.


 

In More God, Less Crime renowned criminologist Byron R. Johnson proves that religion can be a powerful antidote to crime. The book describes how faith communities, congregations, and faith-based organizations are essential in forming partnerships necessary to provide the human and spiritual capital to effectively address crime, offender rehabilitation, and the substantial aftercare problems facing former prisoners. There is scattered research literature on religion and crime but until now, there has never been one publication that systematically and rigorously analyzes what we know from this largely overlooked body of research in a lay-friendly format. The data shows that when compared to current strategies, faith-based approaches to crime prevention bring added value in targeting those factors known to cause crime: poverty, lack of education, and unemployment. In an age of limited fiscal resources, Americans can’t afford a criminal justice system that turns its nose up at volunteer efforts that could not only work better than the abysmal status quo, but also save billions of dollars at the same time. This book provides readers with practical insights and recommendations for a faith-based response that could do just that.

More God, Less Crime will serve a roadmap for how the “faith factor” can become a powerful catalyst to mobilize faith-based efforts to more effectively confront the many chronic problems facing the American criminal justice system. It should be required reading not only for those working within this system, but for the everyday people who fill the pews of the more than 380,000 religious congregations across the country as well.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

“Johnson fully, carefully, and persuasively reveals the bestkept secret about crime reduction: religion works!” —Rodney Stark, The Rise of Christianity

There is mounting evidence that increasing religiosity not only reduces crime and delinquency, but it also promotes prosocial behavior. In spite of these findings, experts rarely include the “faith factor” in discussions of possible solutions to crime, drug use, offender treatment, or exprisoners returning to society. This failing can be attributed in equal measure to the secular criminal justice professionals who allow their own anti-religious prejudices to shape their judgments, as well as to the religious volunteers who rely so heavily on their own beliefs that they see no need to validate their work with
actual research. These shortcomings have cost the American public untold damages in both wealth and safety.

In More God, Less Crime renowned criminologist Byron R. Johnson proves that religion can be a powerful antidote to crime. The book describes how faith communities, congregations, and faith-based organizations are essential in forming partnerships necessary to provide the human and spiritual capital to effectively address crime, offender rehabilitation, and the substantial aftercare problems facing former prisoners. There is scattered research literature on religion and crime but until now there has never been one publication that systematically and rigorously analyzes what we know from this largely overlooked body of research in a lay-friendly format. The data shows that when compared to current strategies, faith-based approaches to crime prevention bring added value in targeting those factors known to cause crime: poverty, lack of education, and unemployment. In an age of limited fiscal resources, Americans can’t afford a criminal justice system that turns its nose up at volunteer efforts that could not only work better than the abysmal status quo, but also save billions of dollars at the same time. This book provides readers with practical insights and recommendations for a faith-based response that could do just that.

More God, Less Crime will serve as a roadmap for how the “faith factor” can become a powerful catalyst to mobilize faith-based efforts to more effectively confront the many chronic problems facing the American criminal justice system. It should be required reading not only for those working within this system, but for the everyday people who fill the pews of the more than 380,000 religious congregations across the country as well.

Visit www.moregodlesscrime to find videos, inspiring stories, and a community of concerned citizens, scholars, and professionals.


 

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Byron Johnson is Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University, Director of the Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) as well as director of the Program on Prosocial Behavior, both at Baylor.
He is recognized as a leading authority on the scientific study of religion, the efficacy of faith-based organizations, domestic violence, and criminal justice. Recent publications have examined the impact of faith-based programs on recidivism reduction and prisoner reentry. He is currently collaborating with the Gallup Organization on a series of studies addressing religion and spirituality in the United States as well as internationally. Johnson's research has been used in consultation with the Department of Justice, Department of Defense, Department of Labor, and the National Institutes of Health.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Make a chain,
For the land is filled with crimes of blood,
And the city is full of violence."

-- Ezekiel 7:23 (NKJV)

Since I was in law school, I've been struck by how little is known about crime prevention and reduction. In the face of the surging rates of crime in the late 1960s, my criminal law professor insisted it was all measurement error. It wasn't. Then, I had the opportunity to do research in an office near the legendary Eleanor and Sheldon Glueck whose studies of juvenile delinquency were widely ignored for many years. Clearly, study and measurement could help improve civil behavior.

Since then, I've read many studies that described the ways that various activities could impact crime. Most such studies struck me as too narrow in scope, failing to take into account all of the influences that could help or hurt. As a Christian, the lack of measurements related to faith-related factors stood out. Why? Well, the testimonies of Christians I met often included repentance concerning and abandonment of criminal life styles.

More recently, some of my graduate students have begun examining how faith-related factors affect family violence, earning a living, and leading a more productive life.

I was immediately drawn to this book by its title. I was looking to find out what effect faith has on crime. I was pleased to find the kind of foundational reference book that can lead me to the existing research while suggesting areas where more experiments and research are needed. Very nice!

Let me briefly summarize what's in the book:

1. The cost of crime in the United States is vastly understated by economists because they don't count the effects on victims' lives.

2.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By jbrown_14105 on October 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I received this book in new shipped condition.
The Title of this book really says it all.
Since I do Prison Ministry I wanted to read this book for content, and it is correct in many levels of content dealing with humans (both Men & women) incarcerated.
Church & scriptural teaching on family & responsibilities is what many incarcerated folks find true is what is spelled out in the book.
Jim Brown
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John A. Nunnikhoven on December 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are active in anyway in our criminal justice system, this is a book that falls into the must read category. Dr. Johnson has assembled a through evaluation of many studies bearing on the relationship between faith and crime, providing access to data that should help shape our policies in this area.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chris Pritchard on July 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr. Johnson performs a study of studies to determine whether there is a correlation between faith in evidence based practices to recidivism rates. What he found is not surprising to those in the faith community, but it does gives validation to what we have long known: A real faith relationship reduces recidivism rates by a significant percentage.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Emily J. on November 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book gives us the answer to our country's crime issues, and it has been right in front of us the entire time.
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