The Practice of Spiritual Criminology: A Non-Doing Companionship for Crime Desistance

Gila Amitay, Natti Ronel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Spiritual criminology (SC) is an umbrella term for various criminological theories, models and practices that share reference to the spiritual dimension of human existence. Informed by a growing body of research that applies spiritual approaches to various aspects of criminology, SC attempts to provide a common thread shared by most approaches to spirituality: a voluntary self-journey that begins with an elevated level of self-centeredness and is aimed at self-transformation. Based on an extensive review of the literature, this paper proposes three general principles for spiritual accompaniment of people who offended: mindful non-doing, being and acting; love and compassion; and compassionate inclusion. These principles can be applied by combining several practices: renouncing control over knowledge, process and outcomes; creating a moral atmosphere that includes forgiveness and nonjudgment; and self-modeling. SC is shown to contribute to the rehabilitation of people who offended and also to crime prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-441
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s) 202.


  • compassion
  • forgiveness
  • mindfulness
  • non-doing
  • spiritual criminology


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