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Spain: data on prison pastoral care. 164 chaplains, almost 3,000 volunteers, 900 programmes in place. Liturgies and solidarity behind bars

During the Days for chaplains and delegates in charge of prison pastoral care, which ended yesterday in Madrid, discussion focused on gender-based violence, Muslims in prison, and “new peripheries” inside prisons. The latest figures from 2018 on prison pastoral care in Spain, collected by the Department for Prison Ministry belonging to the Episcopal Commission for Social Pastoral Care, were also presented. According to the data, there are 82 prisons in Spain, with over 51,000 detainees, divided into 12 pastoral zones. They are served by 164 chaplains and 2,755 volunteers (1,077 male and 1,678 female), 1,989 of them working within prisons and 766 outside. 916 programmes are currently in place, 329 in the religious, 496 in the social, and 91 in the legal area. 7,150 prisoners participate in religious celebrations (12% of the total population). 378 parishes, 198 religious congregations and 180 NGOs are involved in prison pastoral care. Also, prison pastoral care workers distributed monthly financial assistance to zero-income prisoners accounting for about €240,000, which benefited 9,530 people, and 10,448 packs to 7,166 people. Moreover, 718 training and coordination meetings for volunteers were held throughout Spain.

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