Starting a new RSP at detention facility is a challenging and rewarding endeavor. Here Jesuit Refugee Service/USA offers its insight into starting a new program based on years of experience partnering with DHS. RSP Structure and Staffing explains the national and local management teams that JRS/USA uses to implement its RSP. This includes the responsibilities divided between each team and the duties of the staff members that administer the RSP. Local RSP Planning reviews how to plan a new RSP at a detention facility. Basic planning starts with visiting the potential site to determine its needs. That assessment informs planning about the chaplain’s role and the necessary resources that will support a successful chaplain. Finally, Evaluating the RSP describes essential administrative, monitoring, and improvement methods for a program including some specific evaluation tools. A successful RSP ministers to detainees, but it also tracks the quality of the services.
Ensuring that a functioning RSP supplies all the mandated religious services and pastoral care is crucial. The RSP Review enables an established RSP to identify the most important features of a well-run program. This quick questionnaire verifies the religious services a RSP already furnishes for detainees and points out ICE/ERO rules so that chaplains can fine-tune a program to better meet the detainee population's religious needs.
Common Daily Issues
Chaplains ministering detainees encounter situations and issues on daily basis pertaining to a wide range of topics such as volunteers, planning for holy days, satisfying religious dietary requirements. Below are some common questions that confront chaplains and staff overseeing RSPs. The answers to the questions include the relevant ICE/ERO Detention Standards and, where applicable, supplementary information compiled from the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Technical Reference on Inmate Religious Beliefs and Practices.
What are the basic rules?
How does a detainee select a religious preference?
What are the duties and responsibilities of a chaplain?
What should I know about arranging a religious service?
Are there special considerations for detainees in the Special Management or Hospital Unit?
What are the rules for volunteers?
For sample volunteer training materials, please consult the Volunteering section
How can I assist a detainee that wants to see clergy from his faith tradition?
Directory of Religious Centers (Harvard University Pluralism Project)
How do I handle a detainee request for an unfamiliar religious practice?
How should I handle holy days?
What are the regulations for religious property?
What do I do for a detainee with a specific religious dietary need?
How do I accommodate a religious fast?
Can I use wine in religious ceremonies?
What should I do in cases of death or serious illness?
Where can I learn more about a specific religion?