Today, there are thousands of followers of non-Judeo-Christian faith groups in American correctional institutions. Research suggests that many of these prisoners began their incarceration with little or no religious calling, but converted during their imprisonment.
According to the FBI, some of these prisoners may be vulnerable to terrorist recruitment. The purpose of this research is three-fold: (1) to collect baseline information on nontraditional religions in United States correctional institutions; (2) to identify the personal and social motivations for prisoners’ conversions to these faith groups; and (3) to assess the prisoners’ potential for terrorist recruitment. The study creates a starting point for more in-depth research on the relationship between prisoners’ conversion to non-traditional religions and extremist violence.