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01.12.2014 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 6/2014

Journal of Religion and Health 6/2014

Correctional Services and Prison Chaplaincy in Australia: An Exploratory Study

Journal of Religion and Health > Ausgabe 6/2014
Lindsay B. Carey, Laura Del Medico


This paper summarizes an exploratory study undertaken to consider the work of Australian chaplaincy personnel ministering to prisoners within correctional facilities. This qualitative research was not concerned with specific correctional institutions per se, but predominantly about the perspectives of chaplains concerning their professional contribution and issues they experienced while trying to provide pastoral care to prisoners. Data from a single-focus group indicated that prison chaplains were striving to fulfill religious and spiritual duties according to national and international standards for the treatment of prisoners. Given various frustrations identified by participants, that either impeded or thwarted their professional role as chaplains, a number of improvements were subsequently identified in order to develop the efficiency and effectiveness of chaplaincy and thus maximize the benefits of pastoral care to prisoners. Implications of this exploratory study relate not only to prison chaplaincy but also to ecclesiastical organizations, correctional facilities, governments and the need of support for further research to be conducted.

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