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Multi-Faith Chaplaincy. Keeping the Faith. Ahtsham Ali Muslim Adviser. History of Prison Chaplaincy. 1773 and all that; 1952 Prison Act; Prison Rules 1999 The move to Multifaith Teams and practice

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Multi-Faith Chaplaincy

Keeping the Faith

Ahtsham Ali

Muslim Adviser

history of prison chaplaincy
History of Prison Chaplaincy
  • 1773 and all that; 1952 Prison Act; Prison Rules 1999
  • The move to Multifaith Teams and practice
  • 357 employed chaplains – full or part time: 134 Anglican, 105 Muslim, 77 Roman Catholic, 50 Free Church, 2 Sikh, 2 Hindu
  • Approximately 700 sessional staff representing numerically smaller faith communities including Buddhist, Pagan, Jewish
  • Also 7000 chaplaincy volunteers
visual multifaith presence
Visual Multifaith Presence
  • Multifaith Team
  • Priest & Imam together
  • ‘Us & Them’

“All the people like us are We, And everyone else is They.”(Rudyard Kipling, We and They, 1926)

1952 prison act
1952 Prison Act

10 Appointment of prison ministers

  • (1)Where in any prison the number of prisoners who belong to a religious denomination other than the Church of England is such as in the opinion of the Secretary of State to require the appointment of a minister of that denomination, the Secretary of State may appoint such a minister to that prison.
  • (5)The governor of a prison shall on the reception of each prisoner record the religious denomination to which the prisoner declares himself to belong, and shall give to any minister who under this section is appointed to the prison or permitted to visit prisoners therein a list of the prisoners who have declared themselves to belong to his denomination...
why do we enable faith in prisons
Why do we enable faith in prisons?
  • Human Rights
  • Diversity
  • Positive influences in offenders lives
  • Reduce anxiety (safer custody) increase hope
  • Change motivation
  • Helps towards victim awareness and rehabilitation
  • Allows repentance and the assurance of forgiveness- that offenders can still make a positive change
  • Outside faith contacts may assist in rehabilitation and resettlement and enable support in the community
  • Safe place for social interaction inside
  • All these may help reduce re-offending
equality does not mean sameness
equality does not mean sameness
  • “Men are born equal but they are also born different.” (Erich Fromm)
  • “Equality is not in regarding different things similarly, equality is in regarding different things differently.” (Tom Robbins)
resettlement of muslim prisoners

Resettlement of Muslim Prisoners

A Case Study

Keeping the Faith

what we did
What we did
  • Generally: Not religiously religious but culturally so
  • Friday prayers
  • Classes / Literature
  • Family visits / links
  • Eid / Ramadan / etc
what we did1
What we did
  • Generally: Not religiously religious but culturally so
  • Friday prayers / which mosque?
  • Family visits / know how it works
  • Eid / Ramadan / etc
  • Classes / Literature – but take care

The graveyard issue

the advantages
The advantages
  • Familiarity
  • Same lingo, same culture etc.
  • Know how etiquettes work.
  • Denominations / Castes / clans / family relationships