As the number of Muslim prisoners in the UK rises, alongside the number of prisoners converting to Islam, the agency and importance of Muslim Chaplains working within Her Majesty’s Prison Services is paramount.
Members of many Muslim organisations brought their concerns of this growing number of Muslim prisoners to the attention of Home Office Ministers who then set up the Muslim Advisors’ post in 1999.
The Muslim Advisor in conjunction with staff from Directorate of Resettlement, & Human Resources as well as Governing Governors of Prison Service started the process to employ Muslim Chaplains.
Since the employment of Muslim Chaplains they have made significant improvement in the provisions and care of Muslim prisoners. They have also been meeting regularly, to share good practices and to discuss the challenges facing the community as a whole.
The Muslim Chaplains’ Association is an organisation that aims to support Muslim Chaplains, to work towards the resettlement of prisoners and prevention of re-offending upon release and to engage with the Muslim and wider communities.
Whilst offenders are inside prison they have numerous avenues of support available to them, with chaplaincy being one of them. Chaplains of all faiths provide pastoral and spiritual support in various forms to prisoners in their care.
Unfortunately, when ex-offenders leave prison, this support isn’t as readily available as it was inside the prison. The MCA endeavour to sign-post prisoners towards existing community chaplaincies in areas where they are already available, with the help of the Community Chaplaincy Association (CCA), whom they are an associate member of.
In many areas there are no community chaplaincies, so the MCA through their wide network of chaplains have been able to link up ex-offenders with mentors who have offered support upon release.
Services Provided by Muslim Chaplain’s Association
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