Soul Care for Women in Prison

What is the responsibility of the spiritual director for those living on the margins?

Women in PrisonService of sisters and brothers on the margins is essential for spiritual growth. God’s heart is with the forgotten and this is reflected in every religious tradition. Spiritual Direction with women in prison is a calling.

“God has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and release to the prisoners”  -Isaiah 61:1 

These women, who are stripped of everything, are exceptionally open and responsive to God’s grace and guidance. Spiritual directors who respond to this call discover that they are challenged to deeper growth in their own spiritual life.

 

What is the need?

At present there are over 900 women incarcerated at Denver Women’s Correctional Facility, a high-security state prison. We have a waiting list of women who desire soul care. Women of all faith traditions seek spiritual direction.

 

Where will we meet?

All of the directees are seen at Denver Women’s Correctional Facility (DWCF), a modern prison without bars. The facility is located southeast of the intersection of Havana and Smith Road in Denver. Spiritual direction takes place in the living units. There are five levels of security, so each living unit is different and the meeting space is dependent on the security level.

 

What is my time commitment?

You, as a volunteer, will set your own schedule. We ask that you see your directee(s) no less than every 3 weeks and more often if you are able. Your meeting time is determined by their availability. Most of the women work. Some of them work at jobs with flexible hours, but some will need evening or weekend appointments.

 

Volunteer Qualifications

To be considered for the spiritual direction program within the prison, the following requirements of the Center for Spirituality at Work must be met:

  • Personal experience receiving spiritual direction and a commitment to receiving regular spiritual direction.
  • Completion of a formation program for spiritual directors, chaplaincy training, or a ministry degree.
  • Active participation in the peer supervision group for DWCF spiritual directors.
  • Openness to background check and interview process including personal and professional references.

 

Is there training?

  • 8-hour Basic Volunteer Training with the CDOC (Colorado Department of Corrections).
  • 2-hour Facility Orientation at the prison.
  • 2-hour orientation with the Center for Spirituality at Work.
  • Yearly 4-hour Update Training with the CDOC.

 

To Apply:

Contact volunteer coordinator Connie Shelley at dwcf@walkingwithyou.us.

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