Within prisons, Chaplains are responsible for the pastoral and spiritual care of the entire prison community, regardless of denomination, and they carry out their brief in a holistic way. They are mostly Roman Catholic, but also come from the Church of Ireland and Methodist denominations. Spiritual advisors of other churches/religions can also attend the prisons on a visiting basis.
While conscious of their independent role, the chaplains work within the multi-disciplinary framework of the prison and attend meetings and case conferences organised within the prisons. The confidential nature of their role is respected at all times and this contributes to the unique nature of their work. On a day-to-day basis, the chaplains visit prisoners in all parts of the prison. They try to meet all prisoners as soon as possible after committal and to support those about to be released. They spend time with people at times of bereavement and loss and liaise with families through phone calls, meetings and home visits.