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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Chaplaincy Services

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501 S. Calhoun St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2500
(850) 717-3157

The Department of Corrections provides Chaplaincy Services in order to address the religious needs of inmates and to promote the public welfare. 

Florida Statute on Faith-based Programs for Inmates

Florida Statues“The Legislature finds and declares that faith-based programs offered in state and private correctional institutions and facilities have the potential to facilitate inmate institutional adjustment, help inmates assume personal responsibility, and reduce recidivism.” 944.803 FS

Florida Administrative Code on Chaplaincy Services

GavelIt is the policy of the Department to extend to all inmates the greatest amount of freedom and opportunity for pursuing individual religious beliefs and practices consistent with the security and good order of the institution. Programs of the Department and activities of the Chaplains shall be designed to assist inmates in the expansion of their knowledge and understanding of and commitment to the beliefs and principles of their respective religions. 33-503.001 (2) FAC

Click on each picture to see an enlarged view.

Inmates in a prison chapel. Volunteers supplement the schedule of religious activities by providing for weekly services.  They patiently share their expertise and help inmates sustain and grow in their faith.  Mentoring is a program that matches one inmate with one volunteer for the purpose of assisting the inmate to develop personal responsibility and emotional maturity. Many volunteers are needed to commit to being mentors. Those that already do mentor inmates indicate that it is one of the most personally rewarding volunteer tasks they have ever done.
Volunteers are involved enthusiastically in the religious activity in the prison. They provide worship services, seminars, weekly classes and special religious events. Some volunteers provide clerical support to the chaplain's office. Others serve as mentors. Volunteering in prison is a unique opportunity to serve the public interest and to help individual inmates make meaningful and lasting changes. Every Correctional Institution has a chapel building. Each Chapel has a Chapel library where inmates have access to a variety of religious texts, devotional books, sacred literature, and newsletters. Most chapel libraries also have a modest media center where religious CD's, cassettes and DVDs are available for inmate use. One of the more recent trends in prison ministry is to provide life skills training to inmates. Religious volunteers teach about practical life management skills and come at it from the perspective of their faith. Topics include personal money management, parenting skills, victim awareness, employability skills, citizenship, marriage enrichment, problem solving, and managing emotions. Volunteers spend time and effort in bringing programs to inmates.  In FY 2009-10 Florida volunteers contributed over 270,000 hours of service.
Tattoos may indicate a difficult past.  Chaplaincy Programs challenge inmates to look inward/upward and make positive life changes.  Hope for the future is one benefit of the chapel programs. Religious programs are well liked at all institutions. In this picture, inmates line up at Lawtey CI waiting for the services and classes to begin.  Lawtey is one of 4 institutions the department has designated as a Faith and Character Based Institution.  Special events and services are regular occurrences at all of the Department's institutions.  Volunteers bring talent and challenging messages to services scheduled by the chaplains.  These events are a valuable part of institutional life.

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