“As a kid you’re free, you’re joyous and I hadn’t felt that in a long time. And when I accepted Jesus, and all that come back to me, I knew that that was it. That’s what I had been seeking. That joy, that freedom and that peace,” said Dancey.
It’s a message and findings the pastor and professor want to bring awareness to in prisons around the country.
“Our incarceration rate is so high that there’s no money left over for programs, so the first message is to have any hope of success in American corrections, we’ve got to work with men. The second reason it’s important I think is it documents the ways in which faith really does work in the lives of men if they get the help they need if they get the contact and resources necessary to help them develop their faith,” said Hallett.
Hallett said they're looking to incorporate this research into a book, looking at the role faith plays in the lives of offenders both in and outside of prison. He’s studying now how a Christian seminary program at the Louisiana state penitentiary, the largest maximum security prison in the U.S., has dramatically brought down violence in the prison.