Muslims in prison: A case study from Ohio state prisons

Nawal H. Ammar, Robert R. Weaver, Sam Saxon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The present study explores core issues related to the understudied population of Muslim inmates. Mail questionnaires were sent to the full-time chaplains employed by religious services in thirty Ohio state male prisons. The survey examines: (1) characteristics of Muslim inmates, (2) patterns of identification with Islam, (3) religious behavior inside the prisons, and (4) relations between conversion to Islam and crime committed. Our findings indicate that while the vast majority of Muslim inmates are African-American, they are otherwise similar to the incarcerated population in terms of age, education, and marital status. Most of the Muslims in our sample converted while incarcerated. The devotion of Muslim prisoners in the sample tends to be high as demonstrated by adherence to central religious practices. Finally, we found no relationship between crime and conversion to Islam inside prison. Although our data must be understood as tentative, it offers a basis for further investigation of this population of inmates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)414-428
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology


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