Prisoner Behavior Modification
Recently, I spoke to a family member who had served some time in state jail here in Texas.

Mostly, a state jail is a prison for drug violators and combines a sort of behavior based rehabilitation program with jail time. It is called a treatment program, but is more about helping a person get some some sort of training that might help them find a job on the outside if they can find a way to stay clean and sober.

I visited her many times during her treatment or incarceration time and each time it looked the same as other prisons in the state I had visited with the same security and precautions to protect all concerned.

I asked this family member what was the answer to incarceration and treatment. We both understood that probably fifty per cent of the men and women in state prisons were there as a result of drugs or alcohol in one way or another.

There had been a lot of publicity about the War on Drugs from the Nixon times having been a failure, but had there been any successes?

We agreed that the treatment programs based on behavior modification were just that and subject to the behavior changing back to the drug state at any time. Probably not very successful when you see the increased incarceration rates for drug related cases.

We knew only a lasting personality change or basic change in character of a permanent nature could be effective and life changing. Could a behavior modification program do this with any success? These programs have been attempted in many ways since the beginning of time via punishment and reward. I am sure there have been plenty of success stories and probably many of a lasting nature, but I am contending that only through a personality change can a permanent change occur. This requires a spiritual awakening or a spiritual rebirth. You must be born again for a permanent personality change originate or take place! You must become a new person or personality.

I have worked with hundreds of drug and alcohol addicts outside of prison via treatment programs, twelve step programs and various state mandated re training agendas.

Regarding the addictive personality that I have worked with, I can report in a disappointed manner that they just don’t work. When you take away the carrot or take away the stick, the player has no incentive and sooner or later reverts to what he is most comfortable with, invariably his drugs and / or alcohol. Over and over, we have found in hundred of cases that only spiritual change or a spiritual awakening can bring the desired permanent change. This would requires an intervention by the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is the mission of Prison Evangelism, to take the message of the cross to men and women in prisons everywhere to bring about spiritual rebirth and permanent change to those He wants to adopt as Children of God.

David Howell
Prison Evangelism, Inc.
PO Box 571977
Houston, Texas 77057
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