Michael Connelly, over at Corrections Sentencing, always does a fine job of highlighting recent abstracts from the various criminal justice journals. Today he points us to this study on religion and drug treatment (emphasis added):
This paper attempts to offer a theoretical framework that includes religiosity as an explanation of desistance from drug use. Study findings revealed that religious behavior not only prevented the onset of delinquent behavior but also inhibited the continuation of drug use. Although religious salience was found to prevent the onset of drug use, religious importance did not have any significant effects on desistance from using drugs. Compared to religious importance, religious behavior had larger deterrent effects on the initiation of drug use. These findings suggest that religiosity may be important for prevention of illicit drug use as well as recovery from drug dependence. Although recent research acknowledges an inverse relationship between religion and crime, no desistance theories to date include religiosity in their model as part of the explanation of desistance from drug use. It was expected that adult religiosity would have a positive, direct effect on desistance from drug use.
As mentioned previously, prison ministries seem to me like a good idea given the high recidivism rates and intractable despair that accompanies prison life and community re-entry.