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Thread: Number of Pagan Prisoners Has Doubled Over Four Years

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    Number of Pagan Prisoners Has Doubled Over Four Years

    Paganism is on the rise in jails in England and Wales with the number of practising prisoners more than doubling in the past four years.

    Paganism was recognised by the Prison Service as a religion more than eight years ago but since 2003 the numbers have risen steadily from 133 to 328 in 2007, according to figures published yesterday.

    In Albany jail on the Isle of Wight, the number of pagan prisoners increased from 12 to 34 in eight months, making paganism the fifth most-practised religion in the Category B jail.

    As today is Hallowe’en, pagan prisoners can opt not to work or attend education – inmates are allowed to select two dates from a list of annual festivals when they are excused from work – as the day is one of the religion’s key festivals.

    In paganism Hallowe’en is known as Samhain – the Celtic new year – and the Prison Service has issued advice that though it is often celebrated with cider to mark the apple harvest, in jails this cannot be allowed. Instead, prison governors have been told that an apple on the altar can be a substitute for cider.

    Inmates practising paganism are allowed among their personal possessions a hoodless robe, a flexible twig for a wand, incense and a piece of jewellery.

    More at source:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle5051479.ece

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    The question remains of course how many where pagain before going to jail and how many became one in jail.

    Quote Originally Posted by Siebenbürgerin View Post
    Inmates practising paganism are allowed among their personal possessions a hoodless robe, a flexible twig for a wand, incense and a piece of jewellery.

    More at source:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle5051479.ece
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    There are all sorts of groups now active in the prison context I believe. As a general trend, the Pagan Federation here, a very mixed crowd indeed, have gained some input into various State provisions - including prisons and the health service. And why not ? If Muslims and Hindus etc can - why not native Religious revivalists? Some are Wicca - Britain has anyway a Celtic strain.... but others are Saxon/Norse. A few years ago, the Saxon element headed the general Federation chair I believe.... so its no longer all Wicca by any means! Diversity here - rather like in the Hindu community... except that its native.

    IN America, the AsaTru elements were(are) very keen on Prison work; I think there may well be some agenda there however........they can be very segregated over there! Here its the Muslims who are a problem perhaps ....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl View Post
    IN America, the AsaTru elements were(are) very keen on Prison work
    Yeah, one pagan prisoner here sued to make them give him a sword (didn't work), although they have been successful in using this to be allowed to have long hair, which the prison officials don't like because they can use this to hide drugs and cigarettes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl View Post
    IN America, the AsaTru elements were(are) very keen on Prison work
    I think this is less true now than it was a few years ago. The Ásatrú Alliance runs a modest sized prison ministry. I met with the fellow who ran the Northern California ministry for them back when I was stationed there and he seemed like just the right type of man for the job. However, I think that the AA is alone in this work. I know for a fact that the AFA does not have any dealings with prisoners whatsoever, and I don't believe the Troth has prison ministries either.
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