Religious and spiritual outlets can serve as a stabilizing and motivating force for many.
Cultivating and nurturing the spirituality of inmates is a proven way to help reawaken or develop a moral and ethical foundation. Faith-based programs can extend hope and lead to changes in thinking patterns, thereby helping inmates serve their time in productive ways as they prepare to lead meaningful lives upon release.
CCA's faith-based programs are diverse, completely voluntary, and available to all inmates. CCA's network of chaplains – full-time employees who oversee faith-based services at our facilities – must command a deep respect and thorough understanding of various belief systems and needs to serve those in our care.
CCA chaplains also deal with legal questions and individual counseling. The core of their work, though, is rooted in a deep understanding of dozens of religions, and many of them have degrees in theology or divinity as well as a background as a minister or chaplain in hospitals or military settings.
CCA's Inmate Programs department provides our chaplains with resources detailing the specific history, customs, religious items and belief systems of nearly 40 major religions, including various Christian denominations, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Native American tribal religions and other lesser-known faith groups.
Many religious services are held every week and are chaplain or volunteer-led. Religious services offer inmates the opportunity to connect with and grow their faith while serving their sentences.
Faith-based programs include a non-sectarian training and service program dedicated to changing lives through Bible and other textual study. They include seminars, programs, instruction and other methods designed to build life skills, develop positive character traits, and change thinking patterns.
CCA offers Residential Community Programs that are faith-based, completely voluntary, and non-sectarian. These Residential Programs offer healthy character development in an environment that promotes pro-social attitudes and life skills.
The logistics and expense of putting faith-based programs into CCA facilities throughout the nation are considerable. That’s where a number of partnerships come in. Several leading national and international ministries assist in the direction and administration of the programs, helping to refine and improve them each and every day. These include Champions for Life, Child Evangelism Fellowship, Habitat for Humanity, The Institute in Basic Life Principles, Prison Fellowship Saddleback Ministries, School of Christ International, Trinity Broadcasting Network and Wheels for the World, to name a few.
Local Volunteer Support
Few of CCA's faith-based initiatives would be possible without the volunteer assistance provided by local churches, ministries and faith groups. Countless hours are devoted by those volunteer organizations who seek to share life-changing spirituality to CCA's prison population.