Corrective Services

 The Civil Chaplaincies Advisory Committee

operates within the terms of reference provided by the

New South Wales Government.

Mission of Corrective Services Chaplains

The mission of Corrective Services Chaplains has three parts. It is to contribute to the spiritual, psychological and emotional well being of 

Corrective Services in NSW Justice

NSW Justice describes its service to the NSW community in the area of Corrective Services as delivering professional correctional services and programs to 

Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) is an important element of the criminal justice system. Its responsibilities are to

General Principles of Chaplaincy in MOU

Five comprehensive principles principles of chaplaincy that have been addressed in the MOU.[2] These are

The Unique Nature of Chaplaincy

The 1978 Nagle Royal Commission into New South Wales Prisons stressed the importance of Chaplaincy remaining independent of any Government department which has been re-affirmed.


Chaplains work independently within the correctional  centre  without being part of the Department of Corrective Services. It is critical for their effectiveness that they never become part of the Department of Corrective Services and never mistakenly be perceived to be part of the Department.

Trust and Confidentiality

The level of trust and confidentiality that can be maintained between Chaplain and offender can be broken only under the circumstances cited in section 3.4 of this Memorandum of Understanding.


Each Chaplain is accountable to their appointing religious organisation, the CCAC and the Department of Corrective Services as cited in section 7.6 of this Memorandum of Understanding.

Chaplaincy Coordinator

The Department maintains contact with the Civil Chaplaincies Advisory Committee so that they can communicate their satisfaction or otherwise with the provision of the Chaplaincy Service. Any issues and concerns about a particular Chaplain are addressed by the Department through the Chaplaincy Co-ordinator.

Relate to Services and Programs

Chaplains are expected to involve themselves in Offender Services and Programs where possible. 


By linking into Offender Services & Programs, Chaplains can be seen to complement one of the stated aims of the Department of seeking to reduce offending behaviour.


Chaplains may from time to time assist Offender Services and Programs staff in the delivery of Accredited Programs and deliver various Approved Programs of their own.

Case Management

Chaplains can make a contribution to the case management plan of offenders. They can attend case team meetings to advise, being careful however, never to give the impression that they are official members of the team. 

Needs of Offenders


Chaplains engage with offenders on the understanding that no person is intrinsically evil or undeserving of enriching relationships notwithstanding their crime. Being human means that there is a depth and richness of divinely created humanity that can be called to the surface of the person's life by a relationship that honours both creator and creation.

Needs of those Served

The driving force of the Chaplaincy is the needs of offenders and staff for ministry, rather than the needs of religious organisations to minister.

The most basic needs of offenders in a correctional centre are no different from those people outside a correctional centre. They include both material and spiritual needs.

Legislated Right of Access

Government legislation holds that offenders in correctional centres have right of access to religious ministry and worship, just as they have the right to food, shelter and other physical needs.

The Needs of Staff Members


A Chaplain who is committed to developing enriched relationships can make appropriate contact with offenders and staff alike.

Private Access

Chaplaincy allows staff members an avenue to discuss issues in private which can assist in limiting the negative effect that the environment can have on them.


The confidential nature of Chaplaincy means that staff members are free to speak with the Chaplain, knowing that their times of personal struggle never enter the wider world of the Department.

The Chaplain is a resource for staff to defuse stress of many kinds. 

Although the Department provides an Employee Assistance Program for staff, the Chaplain is available to staff in all centres and constant in maintaining confidentiality. 

Religious and Spiritual Depth

Chaplains also offer to staff, a sense of religious or spiritual depth, which grounds the pastoral contact in the intangibles of life.

Chaplaincy also provides a link to local religious organisations for staff in times of crisis, such as a family death, and provides an opportunity to minister to staff in place of a local religious organisation.

Community Awareness

Positive Communication

Chaplains also support staff and offenders in an indirect way by speaking to community service organisations and other community groups.

Most staff members do not have the freedom to speak publicly of their work.

Chaplains are often asked to speak to community groups and religious organisations about their ministry.

Dispel Myths

The opportunity to speak positively of what can happen in the life of an offender, as well as to dispel some of the myths that communities hold of prison life, also improves the public view of the staff and their work. By being free to speak in public, the relationship between the correctional centre and the community is fostered in a small but positive manner by Chaplains.

Code of Conduct and Ethics

Chaplains do this in keeping with the Departments Code of Conduct and Ethics ( appendix 6 ) and, where the public media are involved, in consultation with the Commissioners Media Unit.

What is Spiritual Care?

All Chaplaincy is to promote well-being in the spiritual core of our humanity. Juvenile Justice Chaplains provide spiritual care to young persons to help them develop the resources to successfully cope with themselves and their world. This is done with the understanding that an important part being human is spiritual: spiritual beings, living in physical bodies, in an ever-changing world. 

Spiritual care addresses this dynamic and intrinsic aspect of humanity. Through this spirituality individuals and communities seek

It is exercised in relation to

These issues are recognised as 

Accreditation and Standards

The Civil Chaplaincies Advisory Committee (CCAC) is the official channel through which recommendations for appointment of Chaplains are made. 

The CCAC provides guidelines for various aspects of Chaplaincy and negotiates on behalf of its member religious organisations.

It seeks to 

Institutions Served

CCAC accredited chaplains serve in all NSW Correctional Centres

Chaplains are assigned to provide religious and spiritual support to staff and detainees. 

Correctional Centres

A list of the NSW Correctional Centres may be accessed here.

Economic Value

A 2014 report by Deloitte Acccess Economics that had been commissioned by the CCAC found on the basis of both international and domestic studies that chaplaincy services provide a benefit to cost ratio of 2. That is for every dollar spent, two are saved. This was estimated on the basis of reported rates of both incarceration and recidivism (repeat offending).[6]