Since its inception in 1994, when 3 faithful brothers started to visit prisons on the weekends a few times a month, the ICV’s Prision Chaplaincy Service has provided religious and spiritual care to Victoria’s diverse population of Muslim prisoners. Currently, ICV’s ten trained chaplains provide pastoral care to most of the state’s 310 Muslim prisioners who are held in custody in private and public prisons throughout the state of Victoria.
Beyond the bounds of Victoria’s prisons, ICV assists to improve links between the wider Islamic community, the corrections system and Muslim prisoners. Within prisons, Muslim chaplains provide:
- Opportunities for religious worship and instruction
- Religious advice and counseling
- Advocacy on religious matters
- Referral to other relevant support agencies
In recognition of its ongoing work, ICV’s chaplaincy service has become well regarded within Victoria’s Muslim community. It is important to remember however, that the ICV’s chaplains do not work alone. Through collaboration and referral we work together with other professionals in providing holistic care for prisioners. We also regularly contribute to the government-recognised interfaith Chaplains Advisory Committee and its subcommittes.
The opportunity is available for Muslim prisoners, while incarcerated, to reflect on life and to strengthen their connection with God. As chaplains journey with the prisoner through their time in prison, offering spiritual guidance, advocacy and friendship, a strong bond often develops between them. As such, it brings great Joy to chaplains when they learn of former prisoners who go on to become active members of the Muslim community and society in general.