Houses of Healing Research

Houses of Healing has become an integral part of prison programming. With 160,000 copies in circulation, in both English and Spanish, Houses of Healing can be found in prisons across the country, where substance abuse and mental health counselors, educators, chaplains, administrators, volunteers and prisoners alike are praising its positive impact.

Future research into the effects of prisoner-facilitated Houses of Healing programs is in the planning stages.  Results from previous studies can be found below.

Houses of Healing Research

Houses of Healing Research published in the American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, 2005 and American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 2006 revealed significant statistical evidence that the Houses of Healing Program produces many of the results hoped for among prisoners, including decreases in hostility, depression and alexithymia (an inability to understand and manage emotions).

Houses of Healing Surveys

The Houses of Healing PROFESSIONAL Survey
Two Houses of Healing surveys, one designed for inmates and the other for professionals and volunteers who work with inmates were mailed to approximately 200 institutions that received 10+ or more copies of the book Houses of Healing (HOH) within a three year period. 43% (86) responded to the survey. These same facilitators also received a survey designed for inmates. 435 inmate surveys were completed and returned. The first 55 professionals to return the surveys indicated that, in total, over 7400 inmates have participated in their groups.

Facilitator surveys indicated that: over 70% have waiting lists for Houses of Healing programs. 90% indicated that they found HOH Houses of Healing highly beneficial in group work. The majority reported that participants engage in fewer physical and verbal altercations with peers; receive fewer rule infractions or punishment in the facility; and have greater concern and involvement with their own children and improving relations with their family. 78% reported that inmates have more insight into their offending behavior. They reported that inmates appear to have heightened resolve regarding doing “the right thing” and staying out of criminal activity after release.

The Houses of Healing PARTICIPANT Survey 
The inmate participant survey was designed to gather feedback on the perceived impact of the Houses of Healing program on participants. The vast majority of those inmates (for whom the following issues applied) reported that they engage in fewer verbal altercations and physical fights, engage in fewer incidents of conflict with authority figures, receive fewer disciplinary reports, have better anger management and impulse control, are more aware of their emotions, have more insight into their offending behavior, are more involved with their children, and have better family relations.

To View a Summary of Lionheart Research Click Here.