Correctional and Prison Chaplaincy, Part 7 (Ordained Chaplains: Work of the Chaplain #49)
Our Work of the Chaplain Passage for this episode is Matthew 11:28 which says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Our Work of the Chaplain quote for this episode is from F.B. Meyer. He said, “Let each of us learn to abide in Christ with the heart open to Him on the one hand, and open to men, women and children on the other.”
In this podcast, we are going through the fine book: “The Work of the Chaplain” by Naomi K. Paget and Janet R. McCormack.
Our topic today is: Correctional and Prison Chaplaincy (Part 7)
— Unique Factors
The environment within the correctional institution breeds many issues that intensify with the level of security of the institution. Jails, prisons, and penitentiaries all deal with inmates who succumb to peer pressure while confined. The pressure to conform to the attitude of “criminals” or “bad guys” is a coping mechanism for those who feel weak and vulnerable. The correctional chaplain is constantly dealing with the fear inmates have of being perceived as weak and exposed because they have chosen to make a lifestyle change, abandoning the life of criminal activity.
Inmates also deal with issues of depersonalization and dehumanization. They fear breaches of confidentiality, prejudice, and discrimination. For some, fear is the natural outcome of impending release, resettlement, or even execution. Correctional chaplains have the difficult task of building trust with inmates—personalizing their relationships, humanizing their circumstances, equalizing their perceived inequities, and fostering peace and reconciliation in circumstances of prejudice, discrimination, racism, and all forms of injustice.
The environment of the correctional institution is often a microcosm of the greater world of crime outside the bars, guarded walls, and monitored rooms of the prison. Thus it is particularly vital for prison chaplains to understand the complicated nature of gangs, sexual assault, drugs, and crime. These are frequent issues on inside prison walls, as well as in the world beyond. Correctional institutions create acute vulnerability for chaplains. They are vulnerable to exploitation by experienced manipulators. They are vulnerable to showing favoritism to those who seem “nicer” or who demonstrate an interest in matters of faith. They are vulnerable to doing and saying things that may be innocent but that are interpreted or perceived quite differently—with legal ramifications. They are vulnerable to breaching confidentiality when questioned by those in authority or by those who seem casually interested. They are vulnerable to stereotyping, personal prejudices and biases, and exhaustion from intense, long-time spiritual care.
Correctional chaplains provide the context for spiritual health in one of the most difficult situations of life—a time of isolation and limited choices. Through spiritual care, religious services, and administration of rites and sacraments, the chaplain seeks to help the incarcerated person restore interpersonal relationships with God, with others, and with self. The chaplain seeks to provide hope to nonreligious and religious people by affirming human worth, the dignity of the individual, and God’s forgiveness and mercy.
If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue learning about the Work of the Chaplain in our next podcast.
— PRAYER —
Welcome to the Ordained Chaplains podcast. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society University, and this is “The Work of a Chaplain”. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help those who are interested in serving others through chaplaincy, pastoring, coaching, and counseling to learn the basics of this profession.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and $whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.