“ … I was in prison and you visited me…” Matthew 25:36

Prison visit Jan. 15 Camden County2The Office of Prison Ministry of the Diocese of Camden, coordinated by Catholic Charities functions as a reflection of the Church’s Social Justice teaching, particularly as it applies to the Criminal Justice System. The principal approach of the Office’s activities is the utilization of the principles of Restorative (as opposed to Retributive) Justice. (See Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice – USCCB, 2000.)

The Office serves as a resource for the parishes of the Diocese of Camden, providing support, assistance and information for clergy, deacons and the laity who volunteer in the correctional institutions located within the Diocese. Specific goals of the ministry include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Recruit and train all volunteer ministers;
  • Increase community understanding of the social teachings of the Church as they relate to criminal justice, the needs of the incarcerated and their families, as well as the needs of the victims of crime;
  • Provide direct pastoral and sacramental ministry to incarcerated men, women and youth;
  • Make available faith-based weekly visits to the correctional institutions throughout the six counties of the Diocese;
  • Advocate for the rights of the incarcerated, especially those on death row, and their families;
  • Establish and maintain program(s) for released offenders;
  • Lobby with the civic and community leaders for a more just and humane correctional system; and
  • Help spread the Good News of Jesus … His love, His forgiveness and His promise of salvation.