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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...

The Psychology and Sociology of Spiritual Care

Prison chaplains provide spiritual care to inmates. They are aware that the concepts of altruism, avoidance and alienation directly impact the inmates materially, socially and mentally. Altruism is the idea that a person performs an act of kindness that will help others, but will either provide no benefit or a loss to them (Anderson, 2007). This psychological concept can be found in most world religions, including Christianity. In Luke 10:25-36, Luke writes about the parable of the Good Samaritan. In this story, a man is beaten, robbed and left for dead on the side of the road. Three men walk by him as he is dying: a...

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...