The work of Angulimala to make Buddhism available in prisons was extended to Scotland in 1999 with the setting up of Angulimala Scotland and, since then, its chaplains have been involved in many of these prisons including Barlinnie, Shotts, Edinburgh Saughton, Kilmarnock, Addiewell, Peterhead, Perth, Glenochil , Cornton Vale and the Dungavel Detention Centre.
There are some administrative differences in the way Angulimala Scotland operates as prisons in Scotland are the responsibility of the Scottish Prison Service whereas, in England and Wales, the relevant authority is HM Prison Service of England and Wales.
However, despite these differences, Angulimala Scotland is still very much part of Angulimala and shares the majority of its objectives, under the spiritual directorship of Ven. Ajahn Khemadhammo.
About Angulimala Scotland
The following links on the main website are generally equally relevant to Angulimala Scotland although any reference to HM Prison service or Home Office should be replaced by Scottish Prison Service and Scottish Parliament respectively. Any other differences are detailed below the link.
Currently Angulimala Scotland is not involved in any aftercare or advisory service for prisoners after release.
Buddhist Prison Chaplain – Job Description
A Scottish chaplain is not required to attend one of the quarterly workshops at Warwick each year. Instead, he or she should attend the annual meeting of Angulimala Scotland which normally takes place in either Edinburgh or Glasgow and which is often led by Ven. Ajahn Khemadhammo. However chaplains are very welcome to attend the occasional Warwick workshop, if possible, as it is always helpful to meet with a wider group of chaplains.
Another item mentioned under Responsibilities, preparing reports on Buddhist inmates, is not currently applicable to Scottish chaplains.
Introductory Note for Prospective Buddhist Prison Chaplains
The security clearance required for Scotland is a PVG membership (Protection of Vulnerable Groups) covering protected adults. This was introduced on 28th February 2011 to replace the previous Disclosure Scotland Enhanced Disclosure certificate.
New Buddhist Chaplains needed – How to Apply
As with England and Wales, some Scottish prisons are currently without a Buddhist chaplain and volunteers are needed, particularly in the Glasgow, Stirling and Perth areas.
To apply, please contact the Angulimala Scotland Co-ordinator on 0131 4474513 or email.
The appointment process would normally involve arranging a meeting with at least two members of Angulimala Scotland to allow us to find out a little more about you and to allow you to find out what is involved in being a Buddhist chaplain. You would also be expected to provide a reference from a respected Buddhist practitioner and to complete this form and questionnaire. If both sides are happy to go ahead, we would then send your details to Ven. Ajahn Khemadhammo with our recommendation.
If your application happened to be around the time of the annual meeting of Angulimala Scotland we would probably try to arrange for you to come along to that meeting which, in most circumstances, would give you the opportunity to speak directly to Ven. Ajahn Khemadhammo about your application.