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Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL3349, tabled on 20 November 2017

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure that appropriate pastoral support is available to non-religious prisoners in English and Welsh prisons on an equal basis to religious chaplaincy, and whether that support is proportionate to the percentage of patients who describe themselves as non-religious.

Answered on

27 November 2017

Chaplaincy teams provide pastoral support to prisoners of all religions and none, and increasingly include non-religious pastoral carers accredited by Humanists UK. Pastoral support is available to all prisoners regardless of whether or not they have declared an affiliation to a particular religion.

More generally, support is provided to prisoners through a range of other sources, including prison staff, volunteers and peer supporters (such as Samaritans-trained Listeners). Our prison reforms are building on this, and the 2,500 additional frontline staff that we are recruiting will allow us to deploy all residential staff as dedicated key workers, each providing support to a caseload of about six prisoners.