Source: (2008) Journal of Psychology and Christianity. 27(2):159-167

As prison populations continue to rise, faith-based and restorative justice programs show promise in influencing offenders' internal motivations and external behaviors. Using a one-group, pretest-posttest design, this pilot study found significant change in offenders' (n=102) moral motivations (empathy, perspective taking, forgiveness, proneness to forgive, daily spiritual experiences, and relationships with others) after their self-selected participation in a 14-week faith-based program that draws from the principles of restorative justice. Hierarchical regression models were used to examine the impact of reported subscription to Christianity on pretests and score changes. At pre-test, Christian participants (n = 66) were more likely to forgive than non-Christian participants (n = 33) who conversely were more likely to see the perspectives of others, Christian offenders had significantly higher change scores on perspective taking and empathic concern than non-Christian participants. Findings have implications for the use of faithbased programs and victim-centered curriculums to change offenders' moral motivations and for matching faith-based Christian programs with Christian participants.