Chapter 1 – Appendix 3
[Appendix 3 added 23/07/07 in accordance with PSI 28/2007]
PRACTICE OF VEGANISM IN PRISON
1.1 Veganism is not a religion but a philosophy whereby the use of an animal for food, clothing or any other purpose is regarded as wholly unacceptable.
1.2 The majority of Vegans reject entirely, anything which has its origins in the exploitation, suffering or death of any creature. An individual may lead a Vegan lifestyle for one particular reason or for a combination of reasons, and this may result in some Vegans being stricter than others in what they deem as acceptable and unacceptable. Vegan beliefs are followed by individuals within various faiths, to varying degrees, and by individuals of no faith.
1.3 Most Vegans will not involve themselves directly, or indirectly, in anything whereby their lifestyle and beliefs are compromised or violated, either for themselves or for others. Throughout their lives, Vegans will seek to sever all links with, and dependencies upon, the use or abuse of animals.
2.1 A Vegan diet is based on fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, pulses and cereals. The diet omits all animal products including meat, poultry, fish, sea creatures, invertebrates, eggs, animal milks, honey and royal jelly. Vegans should not be required to handle such foodstuffs. Food/drink containing or made with any of the above or their derivatives should not be served. The Vegan Society can provide helpful information on a range of issues including how nutrients are obtained from a Vegan diet.
2.2 Human nutrient requirements, with the exception of B12 can be met by a diet composed entirely of plant foods, but to do so it must be carefully planned using a wide selection of foods. Fortified Yeast extract is a good source of some of the B-vitamins, including vitamin B12 as is fortified Soya milk.
Purchase of supplements and remedies
3.1 Herbal remedies, dietary, or food supplements of a vegetable or synthetic origin such as Iodine (Kelp tablets) may be requested through the prison shop.
Clothing and footwear must be from non-animal (eg plant or synthetic) sources. The wearing of all animal fibres, skins and materials including wool, silk, leather and suede will not be accepted by Vegan prisoners.
5.1 Toiletries containing any animal derived ingredients and toiletries where either the product or its ingredients have been tested on animals are totally unacceptable and are not permitted. Therefore, whenever toiletries suitable for Vegans are required, establishments should make arrangements for such items to be stocked in the prison canteen or ordered in as necessary.
5.2 Vegans should not be expected to use inappropriate toiletries.
5.3 Vegans should not be asked to handle or use substances that have involved animal testing on the product or its ingredients.
6.1 Most Vegan prisoners will not wish to be involved in any way in the care of animals on prison farms. Vegans usually choose not to engage in any sport, hobby, or trade that directly or indirectly, causes stress, distress, suffering, or death to any creature.
Vegans should not be expected to work in butchery or handle anything of animal origin or content.
‘Why Vegan?’ by Kathy Clements: published by GMP.
‘The Vegan Health Plan’ by Amanda Sweet: published by Arlington Books.
‘Compassion - The Ultimate Ethic (An Exploration of Veganism)’ by Victoria Moran: published by The American Vegan Society.
Being Vegan by Joanne Stepaniak Published by Lowell House, a division of NTC/Contemporary Publishing Group Inc., USA
Plant Based Nutrition and Health by Stephen Walsh PhD published by The Vegan Society
Resources – Agencies - Veganism
For further information about Veganism, establishments may wish to contact:
The Vegan Society
21, Hylton Street
Tel: 0845 458 8244
Vegan Prisoner Support Group
PO Box 194
Tel/Fax: 020 8 363 5729
Chapter One – Appendix 4
SUMMARY OF RELIGIOUS ARTEFACTS ALLOWED IN POSSESSION
(exempt from volumetric control)
Paragraph 1.45 of Chapter One of PSO 4550 (Religion), states that: Prisoners must be allowed in possession or access to such artefacts and texts as are required by their religion. Details of the specific items are set out in the individual faith annexes to Chapter One and are summarised below:
Buddha Image (available from Angulimala)
Incense and holder
Books and Literature
Ornamental cross or crucifix
Small icon (statue of Jesus or Mary)
Prayer books/devotional reading
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS (MORMONS)
Members do not need any religious artefacts to practice the religion except the four standard works of scripture for study,
The Bible (King James Version is preferred)
The Book of Mormon
The Doctrine and Covenants
The Pearl of Great Price
Mara - Prayer beads - (comprising of 132 small beads)
Murti - a statue, from 2 inches in height, made of either metal, wood, glass, stone or marble or alternatively an image or photograph, of the God Krishna or other Gods.
Incense sticks and holder – incense is normally burned during prayer
Small bell – used when beginning and ending prayer rituals
Gita – Holy Book
The Qu’ran and other religious books
Clear plastic pouch for storage of Qu’ran
Small piece of clay from Karbala (Iraq) for head rest, used during prayer, for Shi’a Muslims only
Prayer beads - Tasbee
Skull cap or turban
Scarf and loose clothing to wear during and after prayers – for female Muslim prisoners
Miswak/ Salvak stick (small toothbrush size twig for dental and religious benefits)
Plastic jug - for personal hygiene
Alarm clock – to be used to awaken for prayer before dawn and Ramadhan
Pendant, which has, extracts from the Qu’ran or name of Allah (God)
Musk or Itar – non alcohol perfume in small plastic bottle
Torah and copies of the prayer Books (Siddur)
Prayer cap (yarmulkah or kippah)
Prayer Shawl (talith)
Tephillin (Phylacteries): two strap-on leather boxes enclosing parchment sections of the scriptures, which are worn by male orthodox Jews on the forehead and left arm.
Tzitzit (four cornered garment with fringes attached)
Incense and holder (Lavender and Frankincense are most commonly used)
A religious piece of jewellery (e.g. pentagram necklace or ring)
Hoodless Robe (only to be used during private or corporate worship)
Flexible twig for wand
Rune stones (wood, stone or clay tablets with the symbols of the Norse-German alphabet) and bag or box to carry them
An altar (ie desk, small table, box or similar) - can be set up, space and local discretion permitting.
Tarot Cards (risk assessment required before being allowed in possession – details set out in paragraph para 8.3 of Annex H to chapter 1 of PSO 4550, and reproduced below).
Extract from Annex H to chapter One of PSO 4550
“8.3 Some Pagans use Tarot Cards for meditation and guidance. This may be allowed under the supervision of the Pagan Chaplain. If a prisoner requests to be allowed to retain a part or full pack in possession, this may be allowed, but only following a local risk assessment to determine whether there is any reason to preclude cards being kept in possession. The cards are for personal use only and may be withdrawn if used inappropriately (e.g. telling fortunes).”
Gutka/Nitnem – prayer book
Turban - Worn by initiated Sikhs
Khanga - (comb) to keep hair neat and clean
Kara - Steel bracelet – only a very thin version may be worn in prisons; this is usually obtainable through the local Sikh community
Kacchera - shorts/underpants
Kirpan - small sword, prisoners are allowed to have the representation of a kirpan inlaid in metal on the comb.
Prisoners may have additional religious artefacts or texts not detailed in PSO 4550, if they are not deemed by the Governor and relevant Chaplain to be a threat to security or good order. (para 1.46 of chapter one of PSO 4550).
Governors have the discretion not to allow an artefact in possession if it constitutes a risk to health, safety, good order and discipline. If an artefact is withdrawn or withheld from a prisoner an explanation should be provided to the prisoner concerned, in writing if the prisoner requests and recorded on the prisoners F2050.
Annex A (i)
Part 1: PRACTICE OF BUDDHISM IN PRISONS
Appointment of Buddhist Chaplains
1.1 Prison Service Buddhist Chaplains come from, and are supported by, an organisation called Angulimala, the Buddhist Prison Chaplaincy Organisation (Angulimala is the name of a notorious murderer who became an Enlightened disciple of the Buddha). The Buddhist Prison Chaplaincy Organisation is under the direction of Venerable Khemadhammo Mahathera, the Spiritual Director. It aims to recruit and advise Buddhist chaplains to be available as needed to all establishments.
1.2 The provision of Buddhist chaplains is arranged through:
The Forest Hermitage,
Warwick CV35 8AS
Tel & fax: 01926 624385
1.3 The Buddhist Faith Adviser to HM Prison Service is the Venerable Ajahn Khemadhammo Mahathera, the Spiritual Director of Angulimala.
1.4 The majority of those involved in the Buddhist Chaplaincy are lay and approved by their own teachers and the Venerable Khemadhammo Mahathera. Monks have the title Venerable or Reverend and are called Bhikkhus in the Theravada or Bhikshus in the Mahayana and are usually known by their ordination name. Bhikkhus of more than ten years standing are Theras or Elders, and after twenty years, Mahatheras or Great Elders. Those of a Thai background with usually ten years standing or more may be called Ajahn, which means Teacher. If they are of Burmese background and of twenty years or more they may be called Sayadaw, which again means Teacher. Bhikkhus are celibate and governed by a very strict rule. Any form of physical contact with women is prohibited. Zen monks have the title Reverend and senior monks of some spiritual advancement may be called Roshi, which means Teacher.
2.1 Traditionally this occurs roughly weekly on the lunar observance days and on festival days, otherwise at weekends or when group meetings can be arranged.
2.2 This should take place in a suitable room that is clean and quiet. Ideally the group should meet on a weekly basis, whether the Buddhist Chaplain is able to attend or not. The group worship will be much the same as in Private Practice, but if a monk or some other teacher is leading the proceedings there will be some guidance and a sermon or talk.
2.3 All-day retreats led by the Buddhist Chaplain have been held in some establishments with success. Further information can be obtained from the Buddhist Chaplain or Angulimala.
3.1 This is a very personal and individual affair. It may include the recitation of devotional and meditative texts followed by meditation. Ideally it will take place before a shrine upon which there will be an image of the Buddha. Respect being highly valued by Buddhists, there will be some bowing or prostrating. This may take place once or twice a day or as and when the individual wishes.
3.2 Private practice is possible for individuals in cells/rooms within the normal establishment routine. Buddha images, rosaries and meditation stools are permitted for such personal use and retention. Incense has been an integral part of Buddhist devotions from the earliest times and is permitted to Buddhist prisoners.
3.3 For details on use of incense for private practice, see PSO 4550 chapter 2, paragraphs 2.26 – 2.30).
4.1 There are numerous festivals recognised and observed within the various Buddhist schools and cultures. However, by agreement with the Prison Service and Angulimala, three principal festivals (listed below) of common significance to all schools are permitted to Buddhist prisoners when they should be excused from work and allowed to meet together. Staff should be sensitive to the fact that prisoners may wish to observe other festivals privately.
Vesakha Puja - Buddha Day, also known as Wesak or Buddha Day normally takes place in May. This day commemorates the Birth, Enlightenment and Passing of the Buddha.
Asalha Puja - also known as Dhamma Day. This day commemorates the Buddha's First Sermon. It normally takes place in July. The three-month Rains Retreat for the Sangha commences the following day.
Pavarana Day - also known as Sangha Day. The last day of the Rains Retreat and the occasion when bhikkhus invite the Sangha to inform them of their faults. It usually takes place in October. The Kathina offering to the Sangha and attendant celebrations (of immense importance) follow during the next month.
4.2 Details of these and all other religious festivals are published annually in a PSI.
4.3 Where possible the Buddhist chaplain will attend and lead the celebrations, otherwise facilities should be available for prisoners to come together and observe it in some suitable way by themselves.
5.1 Many Buddhist prisoners will require a full vegetarian diet i.e. no fish. Some may request a vegan diet and this must be allowed. Fasting is sometimes practised, and especially on the Observance Days devotees will observe the Eight Precepts, one of which prohibits any food between noon and the following dawn.
6.1 Normally there are no special requirements. If Zen followers are in possession of a kesa (a symbolic rectangular robe, the colour of which is determined by the status of the wearer), this should only be worn during periods of religious practice.
7.1 Buddhist prisoners must not be involved in any work concerned with the slaughter of animals (see PSO 4550 chapter 1, para 1.41).
Artefacts and books
8.1 The greatest of care should be taken when handling Buddhist artefacts; Buddha Images should be handled with respect and care; Buddhists would find it extremely offensive for a Buddha Image to be picked up and grasped by the head.
8.2 Buddhist prisoners may wish to have in possession some or all of the following items (see PSO 4550 chapter 1 para 1.45).
books and literature
8.3 The scriptures of Buddhism are vast. The main set of 'Three Baskets', the Tripitaka, for example, has been estimated to be many times longer than the Bible. Then there are numerous commentaries and, particularly in the case of the Mahayana, more recently composed texts which are accepted as 'the Word of the Buddha'. Although originally preserved as an oral tradition (there are still a very few monks who can recite the entire Tripitaka from memory) these scriptures have in the course of time been committed to writing and translated into numerous languages. Practically everything is now available in English. Certain texts are well known and widely read or recited. A collection of verses attributed to the Buddha, The Dhammapada, is very popular. Otherwise most people will rely on anthologies of important and favourite texts.
8.4 Copies of 'Buddhist Readings' for the use of Buddhist prisoners are available via the Standard Book List.
8.5 Angulimala provides free Buddha Images approved by Security Group and free literature, including books in the Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese languages.
Marriage (see also CI 35/88)
9.1 Registry Office wedding possibly followed by a Blessing. Customs vary, so please consult the Buddhist chaplain.
10.1. A dying prisoner may ask for a monk to attend him and prepare him for death. Funeral customs vary, so please consult the Buddhist chaplain or the Buddhist Prison Chaplaincy Organisation.