The Supervisory Chaplain is responsible for the establishment and operation of religious programs. The Chaplains are responsible for conducting religious services for their religious community, and coordinating religious services on an equitable basis for all religious groups which are authorized to meet at USP-1 Coleman.
Religious Services offers a wide range of religious programs for inmates. Chaplains are available for pastoral care, counseling, or other professional services. In addition to the Chaplains on staff, programs and services are supported by outside volunteers. Religious Services provides fair and equitable treatment of all faith groups. Therefore, cooperation and understanding among the different faith groups is a necessary standard maintained at all times.
All regularly scheduled services, as well as all one-time or special services with outside volunteers, are open to all inmates. A current copy of the Religious Services schedule will be posted in the Chapel hallway, as well as in the housing units. Special services will be announced and posters will generally be placed in the Chapel hallway, as well as in the units. Services which take place during work hours will require that you be placed on the Call-Out (Jumah prayer, etc.). To be placed on the Call-Out, submit a written request to the Chaplain.
Closed Religious Observances
The only services which are not open to the population are liturgical meals, days of work proscription, and fasts. To participate in these religious activities, a written request must be given to the Chaplain in a timely manner (ordinarily at least 60 days prior to the event).
Staff chaplains are available to meet with you individually for a variety of needs. Some of the reasons you may choose to speak to a Chaplain are:
a) Difficulty adjusting to incarceration;
b) Personal problems;
c) Religious questions or problems;
d) Relationship issues: with family, with other inmates, or with any other person.
The conversation between an inmate and a Chaplain may be requested to be kept confidential, unless the nature of the conversation demonstrates you may be a risk to yourself, another inmate, or a staff member, or that you may attempt an escape.
Personal religious property may be ordered through a Special Purchase Order (SPO). Personal religious property will NOT be authorized to come from home. Religious items for personal use must be requested and approved by the Chaplain. Items for the faith communities will be purchased by and maintained in the Religious Services Department.
The Religious Alternative Diet program is the only religious diet offered. In order to be placed on the Religious Alternative Diet, the inmate must complete an interview with the Chaplain and be approved.
In the event an immediate member of the inmate’s family (mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter or spouse) is taken to the hospital or dies, a member of the inmate’s family should know the procedure for the inmate to receive notification. The family should know the following information when they call to report such an incident: inmate’s register number, the name of the individual involved, and the name of the hospital (or funeral home), as well as the telephone number. This information will be verified before the inmate is told. Once the emergency has been verified, the inmate may be given a call to his family by the Chaplain.
Religious (Clergy) Visits
A request for a visit from an individual religious leader (clergy) may be made in cases where the individual religious leader was known prior to incarceration. In order for a clergy visit to occur, a written request should be made at least two weeks prior to the possible visit date. The visit will normally take place during regular visiting hours, but differs from a regular visit in that: 1) it is not affected by the even/odd visiting schedule, 2) the inmate may be afforded a brief period of time in the attorney/client room for conducting a religious right.
It is the Chaplains’ hope they may assist in an inmate’s spiritual growth and development. The Chaplains hope inmates will make the most of their opportunities by attending services and pursuing their own spiritual life.