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Religious Services - Service to Inmates
The people we serve are at the core of our ministry. Our primary mission of service is to the inmates who are under the care of the DOC, however we also serve other people including the families of inmates, DOC staff, community groups who are helping the justice system, and one another. With regard to the inmates they have spiritual needs that we can serve from the time they enter the DOC all the way through to their re-entry into the community. Thus we are concerned with the inmates from their point of intake, through their prison term, during their transition back into the community, and in aftercare.
We will make this area of our ministry a priority in our lives by taking the following actions:
Understanding the spiritual needs and strengths of inmates. We will undertake a pilot research study at one or two institutions to learn more about the spiritual well-being of inmates by doing a spiritual "check-up" or discernment of a selected group of inmates. We will use the results of the check-up to give information back to the inmates and also to help develop a spiritual plan for the inmates that might form part of their incarceration plan. This process of discernment will include the use of the Spiritual Well-Being Scale (SWBS). If this pilot program works we will expand it.
Understanding inmate attendance at and need for religious programming and how these relate to other DOC services. As part of our communication system we will include a way to track and understand inmate attendance at religious programming and also the effectiveness of religious programming. We will use this information to improve our religious programs and services.
Because our communication system will be integrated with every other area within the department like security, education, work, mental health, alcohol and drugs, and physical health we will use this information to understand how the religious services needs and fulfillment of these needs relate to other needs and their fulfillment.
Institutional Orientation - Intake through Aftercare. At the Intake Center all inmates will be informed of and invited to the services provided by religious services. We will also give inmates a list of DOC chaplains.
A chaplain will participate in inmate A&O orientations at the institutional level to introduce themselves and explain available religious programming. Inmates will be invited to participate in religious services and will be given a Religious Services brochure detailing services and a list of DOC chaplains
As part of the DOC Transition Plan, we will develop and implement a religious services aftercare orientation plan for inmates. This will include making connections between inmates and religious community resources.