Prison chaplains become safety valves, through listening and pro-social intervention, providing a calming ministry of presence in potentially explosive situations. Linking offenders with positive community resources, and through the redemptive work of changing inmates’ hearts, minds, and directions, prison chaplains help offenders to stay out of prison, thus reducing the rate of recidivism.
In Queensland, Prison Fellowship Australia provides co-ordinated and effective chaplaincy and pastoral care to 9000+ prisoners in all 17 Queensland prisons and farms, regardless of their religious or non-religious background. Prison Fellowship Australia have been providing this service for almost four decades and have grown to 50 chaplains statewide. Chaplaincy and pastoral care is a ministry of support to any person in their pain, loss and anxiety and their triumph, joys and victories.
Prison Fellowship Chaplains offer pastoral care to prisoners and staff, working alongside other professionals in the Correctional Centre to ensure that the needs of the whole person are addressed. Prisoners often lose self-esteem, and all sense of worth; they also lose the power to make their own decisions and quite often feel as if they are “just a number in a system,” with little resource available to prepare for their transition back to life on the outside.
Chaplains provide consolation and encouragement, as well as spiritual and emotional support, helping prisoners begin the journey of transformation. Prison Fellowship chaplains are selfless volunteers who freely give their time to love, care and support those in prison. Chaplains help prisoners to form a positive worldview and discover their true identity, intrinsic value, and worth.
Prison Fellowship chaplains must have the appropriate qualities; they receive clinical pastoral training to aid people in crisis and to minister to a broad range of pastoral concerns associated within the correctional environment. Such concerns include sickness, grief and loss, emotional disruption, life changes and faith issues for prisoners. Chaplains also undergo the Security Clearance and Security Training arranged by Queensland Corrective Services.
 Vance L. Drum (August 13, 2007). Professional Correctional Chaplains: Fact and Fiction (p. 11) Retrieved from http://www.preciousheart.net/chaplaincy/Drum_Professional_Chaplain_2007.pdf