What Are Faith Services Really About in Prison?

You hear a lot about people finding religion in prison but I think I’ve cracked the real code.

Damian Delune
4 min readAug 24


Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Most people who know anything about prison or the people who’ve been in one have often heard the tales of folks finding Jesus while inside. It’s kind of become a joke. While the type of faith isn’t important to this story, it is important to note, that people in prison can practice any faith they choose. There may not be a specific service in place for it, there is more than likely a rule or law written somewhere that says you have the right to worship however you choose in private.

Where I’m housed, we didn’t have church or faith services when I first arrived due to COVID restrictions. It’s only been a few months since our camp opened services back, as they require volunteers from outside the prison in order to happen. Our camp offers Baptist, Jehovah’s Witness, Catholic/Orthodox, and Muslim services.

There are inmates here who will attend every single service offered. Clearly, they’re not members of all these denominations, they just want to be out of their cells as often as they can. Technically, that’s not allowed, but for now, the COs aren’t pressing the issue.

Part of me wishes they would.

Normally, I wouldn’t begrudge someone getting out of their cell for a couple of hours. We’re still only getting out for a total of three hours a day and yes, it sucks. But it also sucks when you’re trying to listen to your priest or preacher and rude ass people are cutting up, talking, joking, and generally being obnoxious in the room because they don’t give a shit about what’s going on. Because they aren’t there for the service, they’re just using it as a social hour.

This past weekend the Catholic church that sponsors that service at our camp hosted a weekend of fellowship. That’s the service I’ve been attending since it began again and Father Bond asked a few weeks ago if I would be interested in attending. I said sure, why not?

The part I didn’t hear was about how apparently, I would be giving a little speech too.

I guess that’s what I get for not listening to everything before agreeing. My wife has said something…



Damian Delune

Incarcerated writer sharing real stories about life on the inside, through my wife, Demeter Delune (editor, publisher, promoter, responder)