Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Mario Garcia


Counseling, Forgiveness, Guilt, Shame, Prison, Women


Christianity | Counseling | Religion


There is a lack of adequate counseling on forgiveness, guilt, and shame in the women’s prison. Without effective counseling on those subjects while incarcerated, there is potential for the female offender to reoffend. Adequate counseling could increase the recidivism rate. Counselors in the prison system address behavior issues, acclimation of prison life and rehabilitation programs. Addressing the issues that precipitates criminal behavior and helping the offender understand the factors that lead them to engage in criminal behavior are overly complex. With passable counseling the offenders have the propensity to release the hurt and pain they have lived with and become productive citizens in their community. The nexus between moral injury and criminal behavior enlarges an individual’s predisposition to engage in criminal activity. A number of female offenders and some certified counselors in the field will participate in surveys addressing feelings of unforgiveness, guilt, and shame. The offenders will express their desire to reach freedom from the pain of their past. The measure of success will be seen within the period of their incarceration. Pre/post-test will be distributed to the voluntary offender to demonstrate growth in the area of forgiveness, guilt, and shame. The efficacy of counseling interventions and the use of collaborative strategies to combat unforgiveness, guilt, and shame in prison could reduce the probability of an individual reoffending. This is an examination of the importance of adequate counseling on forgiveness, guilt, and shame in an effort to reduce recidivism and set the women on a path to spiritual freedom.