Role of the Prison Chaplain
Generally speaking, prisoners are often persons excluded, aborted from society. Prisoners easily can be overwhelmed by feelings of isolation, shame and rejection that threaten to shatter their hopes and aspirations for the future. Within this context, chaplains are called to be shepherds of the soul. In cooperation with civil authorities, they are entrusted with the weighty task of helping the incarcerated rediscover a sense of purpose so that, with God’s grace, they can reform their lives, be reconciled with their families and friends, and, insofar as possible, assume the responsibilities and duties which will enable them to conduct upright and honest lives within society.
The prison Chaplain provides Pastoral care to those who are incarcerated either awaiting trial or after conviction. The activity that prison chaplains are called to undertake is important, not only in the specifically religious dimension of this activity but also in defence of the dignity of those detained. The Chaplain serves as pastor to the inmates and not evangelist. Prison chaplains serve both prisoners and staff.