It is a great challenge for inmates to return to normal life outside the prison after they have served a long sentence. Many newly released prisoners are faced with difficulties to integrate into the world outside prison life. Prison Chaplains commit themselves to using resources in the community to support those being released from prison to live positive, creative and crime-free life. It has been found that the better the support systems available for prisoners after their release, the more it is unlikely for them to re-offend. In some countries, such as Austria, the church in cooperation with the state have established rehabilitation centres that are involved in projects and programmes that offer support such as social training, financial support and accommodation.
Prison Chaplaincy in Austria
This Ecumenical Organisation was founded by Horst Reeh, a brother of the Secular Franciscan Order in Vienna and coordinator for Alpha in prison in Austria. It is based in Vienna is involved in group work in prisons and also supporting prisoners on release, especially from Hirtenberg Prison that is 39 kms south of Vienna.
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