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Prisons: Ministers of Religion

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL1518, tabled on 5 September 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the publication of the review of Islamist extremism in prisons and the probation and youth justice services, in what ways they plan to change the vetting of prison chaplains and build on existing good practice, including vetting to counter-terrorism level.

Answered on

15 September 2016

Prison chaplains of all faiths make a valuable contribution to offender management, both in the provision of pastoral care and theological education, and as a safeguard against the spread of extremist ideologies. There are established pre-appointment checks in place for all prison chaplaincy positions, including Counter Terrorist Check (CTC) security clearance and the scrutiny of professional credentials.

The Government response to the review into Islamist Extremism included a commitment to strengthen the due diligence process for the recruitment of prison chaplains. This policy is still being developed, and will supplement rather than replace existing arrangements. The checks can be applied to all prospective prison chaplains, of any faith, before a final offer of employment is made.