WITH THE DANE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT
Over the course of a year, our chaplains join hundreds, if not thousands of men and women in their pain and sorrow. Relying on the strength of their faith traditions, chaplains help men and women identify God’s presence in their lives and accompany them on the highly personal and deeply spiritual process of experiencing healing, hope, strength, and courage for themselves and their futures.
A chaplain’s ability to serve in this role is dependent upon our partnership with the Dane County Sheriff’s Department.
OUR PARTNER IN MINISTRY
The Chaplain’s Office is responsible for numerous volunteer-staffed programs, including worship and prayer services, bible studies, and support groups. All of our volunteers are vetted, approved and trained by the Sheriff’s department and the logistics of our volunteer programs, the when and where and who can attend, are coordinated by the Sheriff’s department.
The jail staff and sheriff deputies are an important link between the incarcerated and the Chaplain’s Office, making it possible for us to do our jobs in a way which honors our call. Each day deputies take time out of their already demanding schedules to escort our volunteers and program participants around the jail, all the while ensuring the safety and security of everyone who participates in our programs. Without their help there would be no spiritual care programming in the jail.
"THE SIMPLE ACT OF A PHONE CALL BY THE DEPUTY AS WELL AS THE DEPUTY’S COMPASSION WHICH DRIVES THE CALL, IS OFTEN ENOUGH TO HELP SOMEONE FIND MOMENTARY PEACE."
SUPPORTING THE PEOPLE
And finally, and maybe most importantly, we rely on the deputies to let us know who is needing a conversation and prayer with the chaplain. With more than 600 men and women incarcerated in the jail each day, there is no way for us touch base with everyone in a timely way. Because our staff is so small and the jail so large, often weeks if not months pass between chaplain visits to a pod or cell block. During these gaps deputies frequently call us to say, “So and so would really appreciate a conversation with you. When can I let him know you’ll be stopping by?” The simple act of a phone call by the deputy as well as the deputy’s compassion which drives the call, is often enough to help someone find momentary peace. We are grateful for this support, as it helps us prioritize our time, ensuring that we are spending time with the people who are most in need of a conversation and a prayer.
IN THEIR CARE
CHAPLAIN SERVICES PROVIDED WITHIN THE JAIL
INDIVIDUAL SPIRITUAL CARE
Regular Chaplain presence
Coordination of Chaplain Volunteers (clergy from the community assigned to regular spiritual care within specific pods and cell blocks)
Deputy and staff support
Coordination of Bible study groups and other spiritual care groups
Religious services in the Christian tradition for both men and women
Coordination of religious services, currently including a range of Christian denominations and a Muslim prayer service
INFORMATION AND REFERRAL
Information and referral to programs within the jail and available under Huber work release
Tutoring assignments and introductions
Consultation, coordination, and support with mental health staff
TO SUPPORT LEARNING, CREATIVITY, & COMMUNICATION WITH LOVED ONES.
Non-fiction and fiction reading materials from the Chaplain's Lending Library
Bibles and other sacred texts
Christmas and sympathy cards