The third meeting of the Reentry Roundtable was held on March 20-21, 2002, in Washington, DC. The title and theme of the meeting was "Prisoner Reentry and the Institutions of Civil Society: Bridges and Barriers to Successful Reintegration." The purpose of this meeting was to examine the role of communities, faith institutions, the business sector, public attitudes and legal barriers in prisoner reintegration. We commissioned discussion papers in each of these areas and asked the authors to give a short presentation to kick off the discussion. Our goal was to ask, in each of these areas, whether they serve as impediments or facilitators of the reintegration process. This paper highlights the assumptions underlying current discussions about church-based prisoner reentry programs.