Prison Chaplaincy Program Spending Headed in New Direction

30 Jan, 2014

In 2013, a private company in Ottawa has become the recipient of a $2 million dollar contract from the federal government in order to deliver various religious counselling and faith services to prisoners. This has been seen as a dramatic turnaround from about a year before when the government began cutting part-time faith minority chaplains following a scandalous service advertisement from the Correctional Service of Canada.

Government officials are concerned about where to spend taxpayer dollars, and so even though there are quite a few chaplains currently employed in the federal prison system, they will begin to be sifted out and placed under a single contractor once their contracts expire. There is speculation regarding whether this has been a good move or not since its implementation in 2013 but nonetheless Ottawa is looking at a 90% recidivism rate of offenders returning to prison who do not have the proper support and guidance to transform their lives.

A single company has also sparked debate about religion since there are about 6 major faiths to attend to within the prison system in British Columbia alone, for example. The government has assured that full-time Christian chaplains are capable of providing spiritual guidance to those from other faiths. This, and other related issues, becomes a problem when any citizen is able to see how much money the government can save by implementing this reform.

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