“Correctional Centre” inmates are one of the most neglected segments of society. They face discrimination and assault in jail and often feel alienated from friends and family. Many who are released end up back in prison unless they can adopt behaviours and mindsets that contribute to their rehabilitation. This is equally true of our brothers and sisters in prison.
The Islamic Council of NSW (ICNSW) Prison Chaplaincy service is open to all inmates and staff regardless of their religion or religious practice. However, as Muslims make up 10.5% of all of NSW’s prison population, we specialise our services in providing crucial spiritual and pastoral care to Muslim inmates.
Our support runs from pastoral assistance, buying Islamic books, prayer mats and other paraphernalia, funding Eid BBQS and helping with incidental expenses of inmates when they or their friends/families are not able to assist them. We provide guidance and support on religious, family and social issues. We also advocate for their interests in accessing halal foods in prison, issues of discrimination and help inmates reconnect with their family outside.
Being sick or injured can be frightening and emotionally draining. Most importantly, it can be a lonely experience. Those who are most vulnerable are those who don’t have family support or are disconnected from the Muslim community.
ICNSW has played a crucial role in helping Muslim patients at a few NSW hospitals.
Our Islamic hospital chaplaincy provides emotional and spiritual care for patients, their loved ones and hospital staff. Moreover, our services are open to people of all faiths and none. This has allowed us to provide support to Muslim patients without regard to their level of religiousity.
Unfortunately many hospitals currently do not have a Muslim chaplain. We are lobbying the relevant officials to ensure non-Christian chaplains are embraced within the health system. We will also fundraise from our community to support the work of our chaplains who are currently working hard.