08/03/2016 11:41 am
The Catholic Church in England and Wales has a long history of sending chaplains into prisons to support prisoners in their reintegration into society. More than 200 Catholic prison chaplains visit prisons across England and Wales every week, where they offer spiritual and pastoral care to all.
“Prison should not be a corrupting experience, a place of idleness and even vice, but instead a place of redemption.”
Pope Saint John Paul II
The prison population in the UK has doubled in the last twenty years, with over 85,000 prisoners currently in prisons and young offender units across England and Wales, up 40,000 since 1993.
In the last year, the rate of prison assault has risen by over a quarter, and serious assaults by 31%. Both suicide and self-harm among prisoners have increased, by 27% and 25% respectively.
Now is a crucial time for the Catholic community to speak out in support of a civilised prison system which works effectively to rehabilitate people into society and reduce crime.
The Right Road - 2016 926.41 kB
‘The Right Road’ draws expertise from Catholic chaplains, charities and experts working in prisons, to make recommendations for reform in the areas of access to family time, chaplaincy, work, and the promotion of restorative, rehabilitative regimes.
The Catholic Church will continue to promote the ideas and proposals contained in the Right Road in Parliament and with the Government. Currently, the Justice Select Committee is undertaking an inquiry into the Government’s plan to reform prisons.
Our submission to Committee has been submitted and accepted by the Committee.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference advisor on prisons Monsignor Roger Reader recently attended the Pope’s Jubilee of Mercy Mass in St Peter’s Square with a thousand prisoners.
Monsignor Reader spoke to Vatican radio about this experience and the importance of mercy.