Original Research

Deficiencies in pastoral care with prisoners in Cameroon

Abraham K. Akih, Yolanda Dreyer
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 68, No 1 | a1210 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v68i1.1210 | © 2012 Abraham K. Akih, Yolanda Dreyer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 January 2012 | Published: 15 August 2012

About the author(s)

Abraham K. Akih, Department of Practical Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Yolanda Dreyer, Department of Practical Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Cameroon celebrated fifty years of independence from colonial rule on 20 May 2010. Major problems facing the nation are economic, social and political crises and the appalling condition of its prisons. This article focuses on pastoral care with prisoners in Cameroon. Most churches in Cameroon have no pastoral care programme for prisoners. The churches in general are not yet committed to this kind of work. The article argues that changes and reform of the penitential system will be difficult if not impossible without collaboration with other institutions and resources, which include the different faith communities and faith based organisations. The focus should be on the care and well-being of those within its walls if successful rehabilitation is to take place. Spiritual care will contribute to the general well-being of prisoners. The article gives a broad overview of the situation of prisons and prisoners in Cameroon and presents a pastoral care approach that could contribute to the overall improvement of the lives of people in Cameroon prisons.

Keywords

Prison pastoral care in Cameroon; penitentiary system in Cameroon; prison pastoral care models; prisoner-staff relationships

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