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Portugal: Bishops Conference hopes in convict rehabilitation plans

At the end of its 191st Plenary Meeting, the Portuguese Bishops Conference (Cep) issued a release in which “they took stock of the religious, legal and social efforts made by the Church in the country’s prisons”. The text tells that currently the efforts of the prison pastoral care service concern “50 jails, where about 14 thousand convicts are locked up”. In addition, a review of hands-on experiences reveals that, “along with the prevention of recurring crimes, the re-socialisation of convicts is one of the greatest challenges for Portuguese justice”. According to the bishops, “boosting initiatives that promote the rehabilitation into active life of people who have served their sentences just after they are freed is crucial”. In order to fulfil such mission in the best possible way from such perspective, then, the Portuguese Bishops Conference (Cep) decided to provide the area of Prison pastoral care with additional economic resources, so that such funds may also be used to diversify and improve the working systems. In particular, the Bishops said that “more training and a more accurate support of pastoral agents, workers and volunteers are needed”, and “a specific recruiting service should be created in every diocese”.


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