Inmates' need for, and access to, Wiccan literature and materials:
Many times each year, a this web site office, we receive post cards -- or occasionally letters -- from Wiccan and other Neopagan prisoners in various U.S. correctional facilities. Either they, or a friend, or family member has found our web site on the Internet. They ask us to send them Wiccan literature, beads, candles, spells, descriptions of rituals, etc. Unfortunately, we are a "near zero budget" group and thus are unable to send them what they request.
However, there are Wiccan and other Neopagan prison ministries that can provide some material. Unfortunately, most of it is by way of the Internet, and very few inmates have access to the Internet. According to Wikipedia:
"In the United States, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, an agency of the U.S. Department of Justice, ... put into place the Trust Fund Limited Inmate Computer System (TRULINCS) ... [during] 2009. This allows inmates access to electronic messaging through e-mails. The message must be text only, and must be conducted in a secure manner between inmate and the public. Messages are subject to monitoring. Currently all institutions operated by the Bureau of Prisons have TRULINCS. However outside of the TRULINCS program, nearly all states prohibit Internet use by inmates, severely limiting technology-based access to educational opportunities." 1
Fortunately, most inmates have friends or family on the "outside" who do have Internet access. They can download Neopagan material, print it out, and take it to the prison.
Some U.S. Neopagan prison ministries (in alphabetic order):
The Alexandria Temple & Academy, founded in 2010, provides pen pal services and has some printed resources to share. Their phone is: (303) 433-6513.
They do not have a web site. Their Facebook group is at: https://www.facebook.com/ Write to them for current offerings at: Alexandria Temple and Academy, Wiccan and Pagan Jail and Prison Ministry, PO Box 140177, Edgewater, CO 80214. Phone: (303) 433-6513.
Mill Creek Seminary: They launched the National Pagan Correctional Chaplains Association (NPCCA) in 2012. It is a Neopagan equivalent to the American Correctional Chaplains Association (ACCA). The NPCCA accepts applications for membership from Pagans who actively engage in prison ministry, provide some form of religious service within the field of corrections, have a strong religious organization with a prison ministry program, or who are interested in participating, contributing or supporting Pagan chaplaincy.
Their mission of NPCCA:
"is to organize Pagan correctional chaplains into a recognized organization, develop resources and support, promote professional standards of conduct, provide training and certification, and to assist law enforcement and correctional agencies with religious accommodations of Pagan faiths."
They hope to publish an "...
organizational chaplain's handbook, a technical reference manual, and to partner with other Pagan organizations in the interest of advancing religious pluralism and the religious freedoms of minority faiths within the field of corrections." 2
Mother Earth Ministries-ATC is composed of volunteers in Arizona who "... are available to counsel, teach, lead ritual, provide information, and answer questions, by mail and [in their local region] in person. ... [They] provide assistance to inmates wishing to make Wicca their official religion. ... [They] also offer information and counseling to law enforcement, prison officials, and family members of inmates. 3
Their web site states:
"We offer two brochures about Wicca: An Introduction to Wicca and The Wheel of the Year. We also offer introductory brochures about Asatru and Druidry. In addition, we have a single-page flyer of the current year's Sabbats and Esbats, and a variety of other flyers and brochures about various aspects of Neo-Paganism. These are available free to any inmate or prison official who requests them.
Enchantment Encumbered: the Study and Practice of Wicca in Restricted Environments, written by two of MEM's priestesses, is available through Amazon.com, through the publisher via our website (www.MotherEarthMinistries.org), and by "snail-mail" for $17 plus $2 shipping from The Blue Eyed Witch, Post Office Box 475, Tombstone, Arizona, 85638. We hope to make it available through additional vendors soon.
Our writing priestess answers questions and discusses various aspects of Wicca in greater depth than our brochures."
They also have a group of 14 flyers, and will send one or two to inmates who request them, or a full set to chaplains under certain conditions. They describe a wide range of topics including Wiccan Traditions and Covens, The Charge of the Goddess, Yule Songs, etc. The ministry appreciates receiving return envelopes and postage.
During 2017, members Carol Garr and Ashleen O'Gaea wrote a 44 page online guide titled Wicca Behind Bars" It describes Wicca, and has a section on "Practicing Wicca in Prison." It is no longer available in hard copy, but can be downloaded from their web site and printed by anyone with Internet access and a printer.
If you would like to be included in this essay, please email us using the "contact us" link at the bottom of this essay. preferably with a description of your group's name and functions, services that you provide, postal address, phone number, and website address.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.