In the simplest form, the mission of a prison chaplain is to provide and facilitate access to pastoral care for inmates and prison staff alike. This is accomplished by utilizing skills learned and a host of community sponsored programs and services.
The chaplain coordinates and provides religious services to meet the needs of a diverse population. This is only possible by the grace of God and community volunteers of all faiths.
Chaplains provide counseling and instruction. Crisis intervention is a large part of counseling for the prison chaplain. The chaplain must stand ready in a hostile environment.
Chaplains are called on to provide training regarding religious needs and to assist inmates in reentering society.
Chaplains recognize that in a prison environment security of the institution comes first. Chaplains work within this structure and provide support for those in authority through prayer and through their ability to understand the workings of a prison.
Chaplains help recruit and train those in the communities who can serve the offenders while they are incarcerated. The chaplain and those who volunteer their services are the “ray of hope” the inmate needs in order to do their time peacefully. The chaplain is the messenger that brings “good tidings.”