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Religious diversity and prisons

Switzerland being a federal system, it is up to the Cantons to legislate as concerns penal institutions. For that reason, legislation regarding religion in custody can vary from one canton to the other. Each institution and canton can decide and implement measures according to its needs. Chaplaincies are ensured by the predominant Churches, recognised by the State (Roman Catholic and Protestant), and are subsidised by the canton. As Islam is not recognised in public Law, imams do not benefit from any recognition. Consequently, there is a lack of means and funding for imams in penal institutions, although Muslims represent 30% of the inmates, whereas Catholics are 30% of Catholic, and Protestants 15%. However, pragmatic alternatives are usually arranged, although regulations differ from one penitentiary institution to another, and the difficulty of prisons to adapt to religious diversity.

For more information see the page on Chaplaincy of the University of Freiburg.

D 4 December 2015    AAnaïd Lindemann

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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