Is Privatizing The Prison Chaplaincy System A Bad Idea?

15 Jun, 2014

The government’s  move to a privatized chaplaincy system is not boding well with existing chaplains nor the inmates who are able to take advantage of their services. Kate Johnson was a former prison chaplain of the Pittsburgh Institution, a minimum security prison in Kingston, Ontario.

2012 saw the Conservative government ending the contracts for about 50 part-time non-Christian chaplains. Coupled with the increase in prison populations has led to inmates becoming more resistant to opening up about themselves, a key factor in the reintegration process. Johnson has since decided to leave the prison, but not without regrets or animosity towards the Harper government.

The need for prison chaplains is seen everywhere. The privatization of the prison chaplaincy system is argued to not only mechanize what is supposed to be an intimate experience but results are showing that this solution might not be the best one.

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