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The role and contribution of a multi-faith prison chaplaincy to the contemporary prison service

Todd, Andrew and Tipton, Lee 2011. The role and contribution of a multi-faith prison chaplaincy to the contemporary prison service. [Project Report]. Cardiff: Cardiff Centre for Chaplaincy Studies. Available at:

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This report is the outcome of research carried out by the Cardiff Centre for Chaplaincy Studies on behalf of the National Offender Management Service. The research was into the contribution of prison chaplaincy in England and Wales to the contemporary prison service; to the lives of prisoners and the life of the prison. The research was carried out during the calendar year 2010, in seven sites in England and Wales and involved interviews with chaplains, prisoners, prison officers, governors and senior managers. The report identifies the primary role of the chaplain as being pastoral, and an important secondary role, of providing specifically religious support, facilitating prisoners’ religious observance through the provision of opportunities for prayer, worship and religious education and counsel. The report considers perceptions of change in the role of chaplains, including in relation to status and multi-faith practice. The report identifies the value of prison chaplaincy as lying particularly in the distinctiveness of the chaplain’s role, especially in relation to the different role of the prison officer. Chaplains are identified as those with time for prisoners, who make availability a priority. This contributes to a sense, particularly from prison officers and governors, that chaplains have something of a ‘neutral’, or ‘independent’, status within prison. The report concludes with recommendations about how the distinctiveness of chaplaincy could be supported and enhanced, not least through co-ordination, further training, and transparency about the particular contribution chaplains make to prisons and prisoners; and the way they offer a complementary role to that played by other staff.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Publisher: Cardiff Centre for Chaplaincy Studies
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2017 02:37

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