The role of a chaplain

Chaplains are not employees of the public service and remain independent under NSW legislation. They have access to correctional centres through the accreditation of the Commissioner of Corrective Services NSW. (Part 2:3, Division 6 of the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Regulation 2008).

Chaplains work alongside other professionals in the Correctional Centre to ensure that the needs of the whole person are being addressed. Chaplains contribute to case management as part of the programs and services staff team.

They have had clinical pastoral training to people in crisis and minister to a broad range of pastoral concerns associated with the correctional environment. These pastoral concerns include for example, sickness, grief and loss, emotional disruption, life changes and faith issues. Chaplains endeavour to support people who are hurting in any way with sensitivity and compassion.

Functions required to be performed by chaplains generally fall under the following categories: worship, spirituality, pastoral care, welfare, counselling, education, facilitation of religious and cultural events, family support, community relations, liaison and staff care.

Chaplains may spend most of their time ministering with inmates but are also available to assist correctional staff. Working in the correctional centre environment can be very demanding and stressful and staff can sometimes have challenging personal life issues to cope with.

Chaplains may be full time, half time or sessional (hourly). While retaining their identity and function as religious and pastoral people they are attached to a correctional centre and are involved in the life of that community. They approach their ministry in an ecumenical and interfaith sensitive way with a strong emphasis on teamwork.

Directory of Chaplains

See the directory of chaplains for contact details and availability of chaplains attached to each correctional centre in NSW.