Why would Rev. Billy Graham choose to be buried in a casket made by inmates at America's largest prison? Because, despite ministering to U.S. presidents and the Queen of England, prison ministry was at the heart of Graham's message. Dr. Michael Hallett, criminology professor at the University of North Florida, led a three-year study at Angola, America's largest maximum-security prison, exploring the religious lives of long-term inmates. The study resulted in his book, "The Angola Prison Seminary: Effects of Faith-based Ministry on Identify Transformation, Desistance and Rehabilitation,” which explores the unique effect on religion at Angola prison, of which the Rev. Billy Graham was a key part. Angola is the only prison in America that allows inmates to run their own churches, two of which were built and paid for in part by Graham.
Hallet is available to discuss the following:
- Prison ministry was central to the life and work of Rev. Billy Graham, especially at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.
- Both Rev. Graham and his wife Ruth were buried in caskets made by inmates at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.
- His extensive research on prison ministry at Angola and the prisons unique religious culture
- Prison ministry being at the heart of Graham's work
Hallett is a professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville and earned his doctorate from Arizona State University. He currently serves as a Senior Research Fellow at Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religionn
His bio can be found at https://www.unf.edu/coas/ccj/faculty/hallett.aspx.