Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name


Department (Legacy)

Department of Justice Administration

Committee Chair

Tewksbury, Richard

Author's Keywords

Halfway-house; Volunteers; Faith-based organizations; Transitional living; Offender programming; Backgrounds and motivations


Volunteer workers in social service; Halfway houses; Faith-based human services


This study examines the backgrounds and motivations of individuals who volunteer for a Protestant Christian faith-based halfway-house for recently released offenders. Drawing on eight in-depth interviews with volunteers from a faith-based ministry located in a Southern city, the study examines how and why volunteers come to their positions and what they perceive as rewards of their work. Typically, volunteers report receiving more benefits themselves than they perceive offender clients receiving. Chief among perceived rewards are a transparent community in which volunteers could safely share personal aspects of themselves than what they could experience elsewhere. This study provides valuable information to scholars, legislators, and correctional professionals by showing that faith-based ministries do not necessarily emphasize the religious aspect of their program.