Spiritual Help During Detention: Specific Responses to Different Stages and Types of Imprisonment
Elger, Bernice Simone; Ritter, Catherine; Stöver, Heino
Emerging Issues in Prison Health
Place of publication
978-94-017-7556-4 ; 978-94-017-7558-8
The provision of spiritual advice in prisons must be adapted to a number of factors and, hence, cannot be reduced to a one-fits-all strategy for prisoners in various settings. This chapter describes the major topics and issues arising when providing spiritual advice. Two variables are of particular importance and must be taken into account by spiritual advisors: the type of facility in which the person is imprisoned and the duration of the imprisonment. After presenting an overview of the main issues encountered by those who provide spiritual advice in modern correctional institutions, the authors discuss possible solutions to existing problems. They argue that spiritual help in the correctional context should be understood within a wide context that cannot be reduced exclusively to religious ritualism but must also take into account other cultural and psychological considerations. An interdisciplinary approach for spiritual advice is proposed that combines more specifically spiritual or religious communication strategies and care solutions with those from other humanistic and care-providing disciplines.