chapter  18
10 Pages

Grief, chaplaincy and the non-religious prisoner

WithKatie Hunt, Sue Read

This chapter provides distinction between religious and pastoral support. It also provides bereavement counselling and other neutral services to be provided independently of chaplaincy, and for non-religious pastoral carers to be appointed in every prison in order to offer to non-faith prisoners the same opportunity as their religious counterparts. The chapter argues that the position of the chaplaincy, an inherently religious organisation, as the primary source of, or gateway to, counselling and pastoral support services intended for all inmates is unjustified and unhelpful, considering the increasingly secular prison population. A multi-faith chaplaincy is established in every prison in England and Wales, with teams of staff dedicated to providing religious and spiritual guidance to offenders and colleagues alike. The multi-faith chaplaincy is alienating to atheist and non-faith offenders, who are entitled to support that is relevant to their beliefs.