Prison atheist statistics: What do the forms look like?

There is another thought that popped into my head regarding the atheists in prison statistics. What does the form look like that produce these numbers?

Suppose, for instance, that, on being admitted to a British prison, a new convict have to fill in a form with tick boxes under the heading “Religion.” There are tick boxes for “Christian”, “Muslin”, etc., and the last tick box say “None.” Below all the tick boxes, there is a line with the wording: “Other (specify)” Suppose that there is no tick box for “atheist”, and the atheist could choose whether he want to tick “Religion: None” or write in “atheist” on the last line. Most would do the simpler thing: Tick “None.” If that is the case, it would explain why the “no religion” group is so large compared to the “atheist” group in both the British and American statistics.*

This hypothesis can only be tested by knowing what the forms looked like at the spot where religious view had to be entered. So, please, if anyone has access to the forms that produced the American data in this link, or the forms that produced the British data in this link, could you please tell me: What religious possibilities did they have tick boxes for? What, exactly, is the wording and possibilities you could choose from in that section of the form?

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If this hypothesis is wrong, and the non-religious who do not define themselves as atheists are really and fairly concluded to be much more criminal than atheists and believers alike, it would be another reason why militant atheists should not ask for religion to be abolished. A world with no believers would not abound with “high church atheists,” actively denying God’s existence. It would be filled with “non-religious people”, who do not think about God, and are, statistically speaking, more likely to give in to their criminal proclivities.

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About Retha

Attempting to question everything, reject the bad and hold fast to the good.
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5 Responses to Prison atheist statistics: What do the forms look like?

  1. makarios says:

    Here’s information on the form you were thinking about.

    http://www.adherents.com/misc/adh_prison.html

    I worked in the federal prison system for ten years. I can assure you that, while some inmates do become Christians while in prison, those who ENTER prison with an intimate, healed and forgiven relationship with Jesus are practically non existent.

    The population is almost exclusively made up of functional or practical atheists – i.e., those who live as though God does not exist.

    • tnmusicman says:

      See,thank you for saying that. I’ve maintained that people become Christians after entering prison and this might be why the surveys on atheist/Christian prison stats might be “colored” somewhat to make Christians look bad.

  2. Retha says:

    Thanks for your link. It says a lot of the thing I say in my previous post on the topic. (I link to that post in my first paragraph here.)

    It tells it in much more detail, for those who are interested.

    those who ENTER prison with an intimate, healed and forgiven relationship with Jesus are practically non existent.

    The population is almost exclusively made up of functional or practical atheists – i.e., those who live as though God does not exist.

    I am truly not suprised to hear that. But some people who abuse statistics need to hear that.

  3. Hi, nice post. I have been wondering about this topic,so thanks for posting. I will certainly be coming back to your posts.

  4. Spaceman_Spiff says:

    The reason for the low atheist (or high religous) numbers is probably not an effect of religion driving people into criminal behaviour, but an effect of what drives people to atheism. Most people who actively define themselves as such are rather smart. I think if you corrected these statistics for IQ atheists would no longer be so underrepresented in their group. But I don’t know if that has been done or not.

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