Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Jeffrey Ward


Recidivism, Ex-offender, Mass Incarceration, Sentencing Law, African American Male, Returning Citizen, Repatriating Citizen


Christianity | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


The Prison Industrial Complex impacts 2.3 million people, affects the poor, and the nation's minority family's ability to retain a sense of unity. These data impact community health with the absence of the father figures, lack of power to gain viable income, and in some cases, the right to vote. The issue decimates African American young men. This topic is needed because the research suggests a cyclic nature of excavation of human capital by incarceration and is depleting communities of capital by jailing wage earners from the Black community. Voting capital is dwindling in some states where felony crimes remove the individual right to vote. The Trump administration signed First Step legislation aligned with the relief of the reported 77 percent of federal and 38 percent of state released prisoners experience rearrests within five years. How can the church build an anti-recidivism ministry model using the testimonials of successful ex-offenders, justice system professionals, input from pastors, and other community stakeholders? The mixed-method applied collected data and validated narratives and coding responses through Atlasti software. Guided survey questions for all participants produced contrasting perspectives to validate ex-offender audio-recorded interviews. This process removed blind spots to the truth, and facilitated the booklet Relocation and Reentry, and provided contextualized relevant curriculum for strategic evangelism before, during, and after incarceration. Community stakeholders, non-profits, and pastors will find it easier to collaborate on the Great Commission in the spirit of the Great Commandment for the least of these (Mt 28:19-20; 22:36-40; 25: 31-46).