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Personal, Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Well-being

In any job it is important for the employee to take care of themselves so that they can remain physically and mentally able not only in their job but also in their personal life. This is even more true in high-stress professions or in professions that take place within a difficult work setting such as hospitals, courts or prisons. Stress is a dangerous factor that can greatly affect a person’s life. The French physiologist, Claude Bernard, wrote that if a life is to be maintained we must keep our “internal milieu constant in the face of a changing environment" (Schneiderman, 2008). This definition can...

Feelings, Attitudes, Values and Assumptions about Prison Practice

How prison practices are viewed can affect a chaplain’s motivation and performance when they are providing spiritual care. When one thinks of the practices in prisons, they may summon images of shows like Prison Break or Orange is the New Black. These shows can create many deep feelings about prison care that prison chaplains are not immune to. Before entering a new line of work most people conduct research into the potential field of entry, but they also already possess preconceptions about what their job experience will be. Since chaplains are looking into entering a controversial workplace, a prison, they are likely to find objective...

Prison Group Dynamics and Organizational Behavior

An informal social group can be defined as a group of people (at minimum three) that have created a solidified pattern of social attitudes, values and interactions based on loyalty, similar interests or home backgrounds, crime associations and their ability to cooperate in the execution of a natural function (Caldwell, 1956). The cooperation in the execution of a natural function is what a social group centers around because it is the interest that connects the group. For example, in a prison community composed of adult males, the function could be gambling, the cooking of moonshine or participating in homosexual relations (Caldwell, 1956). Since the prison...

Spiritual Care in the Prison Environment

Prison chaplains work to provide religious and spiritual care to inmates and fellow prison employees across the country. Spiritual care, also known as pastoral care, is simpler to define when the root meaning of the word “spiritual” is given. This word is a combination of Latin and Hebrew roots:the Hebrew word Rauch, which means soul and the Latin word Spiritus, which means breathe of life. When these two meanings are combined it creates a word that means to breath life into a soul. In a prison, chaplains provide spiritual care in a multitude of ways. Their focus is on providing spiritual care to inmates and staff...

Satanic, Occult, Ritualistic Crime: A Law Enforcement Perspective

Children introduced to sexual violence during their developmental years have been found to explain their trauma through monsters and stereotypical villains in order to articulate situations they don't understand. Child sexual abuse can be more difficult to identify than most people believe. The level of proof needed for conviction is higher because the consequences are greater. The societal default for sexual abuse in children is denial.  Most people don’t want to hear about a child being sexually abused and would therefore rather pretend it never happens. This causes a counter-reaction from others who try to fight the willful ignorance of deniers: exaggeration.  Those hoping to bring sexual...

Escaping from a Cult

“One of the hardest things to do with a cult is to remove yourself from them” (Cultwatch.com, n.d., paragraph 1), says Cultwatch. The website has written a “how-to” guide for those who realize they are in a cult or at the very least an unhealthy group dynamic. Cultwatch offers sound advice to anyone seeking guidance on how to end involvement with a cult. Knowing there are resources waiting to be utilized and people willing to help those trapped within the confines of a cult-society can be the impetus needed for a person to change or seek outside assistance. Cultwatch suggests that a person who is...

Belle Plaine’s Veterans Memorial Park: Where both a Cross and a...

Free speech protesters in Minnesota quickly realized that a victory for them could benefit more than just their own cause. For years a monument, lovingly referred to as “Joe,” has sat in Belle Plaine, Minn.’s memorial park to honor fallen veterans of war. The monument features a kneeling soldier, clutching a rifle, looking down at a cross. After someone complained that they were uncomfortable with a religious symbol being displayed on public property, city leaders had to decide whether to keep or remove “Joe” from the park. In fear of a lawsuit, they chose in favor of the constitutional separation of church and state, thus removing...

Terror becomes Tolerance when a Jewish School Receives Support after a...

The Jewish school in Annapolis, MD, that received an anonymous phone call about a bomb threat, has found support in unlikely places. With the arrest of an Israeli teen believed to be responsible for a number of threats to other Jewish institutions in North America the Jewish community have begun to worry that antisemitism is on the rise. When the Maryland Alpert Family Aleph Bet Jewish Day School received a phone call from an unknown man about a bomb threat, the concern for the Jewish community only grew. This threat is not the first one to occur in Maryland. There have been at least seven other...