Welcome to Church of the Spiral Tree's Pagan Prisoner Ministry. We are dedicated to serving the religious and spiritual needs of our incarcerated members. We are here to provide information on past and upcoming CST rituals gatherings, events and news, and also provide articles and information. We are also gathering information on prisoner's religious rights and related topics. Any suggestions, comments or questions are greatly appreciated.
Should you wish to contact the CST Pagan Prisoner Ministry you can do so via email or snail mail:
Rev. Charissa Iskiwitch, PPM Director
Church of the Spiral Tree
P.O. Box 3165
Auburn, AL 36831-3165
CST's Inmate Pen-Pal Service:
CST, as part of its Pagan Prisoner Ministry, offers inmates the chance to join our Pen-Pal Service for free, in the hopes of someone on the outside, like you, writing to them on a regular basis.
Why write to an inmate? People who are incarcerated truly love to read letters from like- minded folks. From these letters, inmates get communication, information, understanding, and sometimes, just an ear to hear what they themselves have to say. Some of these inmates will be released in a short time, and will hopefully then integrate successfully into society. Having a pen- pal can give these people a needed boost, to support them on their journey out into the world (one of our current CST members was previously an inmate himself, and is now on his way to getting his degree in physics and engineering). Some of them will be released in many years, and some will never be released. These people in particular simply need communication with a friendly person.
However, you should understand that inmates are in prison for a reason, and some have done some awful things in their lives. That doesn't make them less worthy of communication, but you should be aware of their circumstances, and take steps to protect yourself. First, get a post office box. Don't ever use your home or work address. Also, consider using a pseudonym rather than your real or full name, and do not send photos of yourself to the inmate. You are strongly encouraged not to provide any personal information unrelated to paganism and spirituality. Finally, know that anyone wishing to use CST's Pen-Pal Service to write to inmates MUST be 21 years of age or older.
Before choosing to write to an inmate, please click on the following links and read all the information.
For a list of inmates who have joined CST's Pen-Pal Service in hopes of getting a pen-pal on the outside (you do not need to be a paid member of CST in order to become a pen pal!), you must:
- Read all the information below
- Read and agree to the disclaimer
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Join our Pagan Prisoner Ministry Yahoo group, where all the inmates are listed.
Guidelines for becoming a pen-pal:
You must be 21 years old or older to join our Pagan Prisoner Ministry Yahoo group. Anyone discovered to be under 21 years old will be immediately removed from the Yahoo group. Anyone under 18 years old will not only be removed from the list but every effort will be made to notify the parents or legal guardians of the minor's attempt to contact inmates and of abuse of the designated rules of Yahoo groups.
Any expenses incurred, including cost of a post office box, stamps, etc., are your own, and will not be reimbursed by CST.
Your legal name, pseudonym, mailing address, and email address, will be kept in a confidential file by the PPM chaplain.
You are responsible for initiating contact with one or more inmates, and you are the one who decides to what depth your communications with the inmates will go. However, you are strongly encouraged not to provide any personal information unrelated to paganism and spirituality, and we encourage you to not send photos of yourself to the inmate.
What inmates can receive in the mail, and how they can receive it, is completely dependent upon the rules at their institution. We will make every effort to list any special rules with the inmates' information, but be aware if you send something that is not acceptable or in an unacceptable manner, it may be returned to you, confiscated, or simply destroyed.
Ideas for things to send to inmates, besides personal letters, include information on past and upcoming CST rituals, articles and information from the internet on particular subjects, and rituals that the inmate can perform using no tools. However, CST cannot purchase and mail books, tools, or other supplies to inmates, nor can we reimburse you for the purchase and mailing of such items.
In joining CST's Pen-Pal Service, you are doing so as a volunteer. You do not have to be a paid member of CST in order to work with a ministry or committee or to volunteer in any way. You are required to be a CST member if you are an officer, chairperson, or committee head for any CST office or committee.
A list of inmates, as up-to-date as possible, wishing to have pen-pals will be maintained in either a file or a database on the Yahoo group. If you get information from an inmate about an upcoming move or release, please share that with the PPM chaplain so the inmate's file can be updated.
You must read and agree to this before joining CST's Pagan Prisoner Ministry Yahoo group.
Church of the Spiral Tree, CST's Pagan Prisoner Ministry, and all of their associates have not investigated & accept no responsibility for the truth or accuracy of any statement made by inmates. We strongly recommend that you take appropriate safeguards in communicating with the people you write through our service.
In writing to an inmate you agree that you are 21 years of age or older, and you agree that you understand that these inmates are in prison. You also agree to hold Church of the Spiral Tree, its Pagan Prisoner Ministry, and all its officers, chaplains, employees, and agents harmless from all costs, liabilities, damages and attorneys fees, resulting from or caused by any reply to said inmates, while that inmate is incarcerated or upon his or her release from prison. In no event will Church of the Spiral Tree or its Pagan Prisoner Ministry be responsible for any incidental, consequential, exemplary or other damages arising from or relating to your use of this service. Please use a service such as the Inmate Locator in the Links section below to look up information about inmates. You should also contact the prison the inmate is located in for further information.
The Politics of Dancing: Pagan Prisoners - Information dealing with issues confronting Pagans who are incarcerated.
Alexandria Temple of Universal Metaphysics - A branch of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC), whose primary purpose is ministering to Wiccans/pagans in prison and jails, and their families, and secondary mission is to provide information about the Wiccan path to officials in Corrections systems (city, county, state and Federal) and assist them in addressing the spiritual issues of Wiccans in their custody. They provide in-person (Colorado only) and correspondance (anywhere) support to incarcerated Wiccans/pagans.
Prisoner Life - An forum networking prisoners, prisons, and the world.