Jesuit Foundation – Prison Ministry

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Template:Infobox organization Jesuit Foundation – Prison Ministry (JFPM) became the primary work of Jesuit Foundation Thailand in 1991.[1] Since then it has offered a variety of services to those incarcerated within Thailand and to their families.[2] It is mentioned first by the Thai government among those serving the prison population in Thailand.[3][4]

Objective

In 2013 there were about 1,557 incarcerated men and women in 10 prisons and 150 in a prison hospital. The seven-person, multilingual staff attempts to visit once a month all prisoners who are poor and have no other visitors, and also responds to their letters. Besides offering encouragement an advice, the staff provides items like toiletries, clothes, supplementary food, and medicine.[5] The staff also contacts the family of prisoners,[5] follows up their cases at court and through their movements, and makes sure their possessions like musical instruments, books, and bibles follow them. When visiting the families of prisoners, the staff shares with townsfolk the dangers and consequences of drug trafficking. In 2013 the team consisted of three women and four men, including a Jesuit brother fluent in four languages.[5]

The work of JFPM has international dimensions. Prisoners' families are visited in Nepal and Laos.[6] Parishes and schools lend their support to JFPM.[7][8] The Bangkok Post mentions JF-PM as one of three IMO/NGO organizations providing support for services at an immigration detention center in Bangkok.[9]

Other efforts undertaken by JFPM include assistance to the international anti-human trafficking organization.[3][4] JFPM accompanied prisoners when they had to be transferred during the floods in Bangkok in 2011.[10]

Prison policy obstacles

Some policy is set locally at each prison and may limit the services JFPM can provide. For example the number of prisoners JFPM is allowed to visit per day may be as low as one. Some prisons won't allow distribution of any items to the prisoners. These obstacles do change unexpectedly leading to schedule and budget issues.[11]

References

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