Chaplain Services

The Department of Public Safety  recognizes the spiritual needs of juveniles and staff and has established chaplain services to meet those needs. 

Chaplain services promote spiritual development by providing opportunities for youth and staff to participate in faith-based programs, practice their faith and receive spiritual counseling on a voluntary basis.

A chaplain is located at each of the state's four youth development centers. However, their responsibilities extend beyond the provision of services to juveniles and staff on a YDC campus. Their roles also involve establishing relationships and community interest in the lives of youth by partnering with professional, business, civic, social and community groups on topics related to the role of ministry in promoting positive youth development. This effort comes appropriately, during a time when DPS continues to implement the therapeutic environment approach and involve families and communities in its efforts to successfully transition youth back into their home community.

In addition, chaplains are responsible for the implementation of a Rings of Fellowship program at each YDC through a partnership with Disciple Bible Outreach. The Rings of Fellowship program uses a curriculum that is designed to reach interested youth by promoting spiritual growth and positive peer dynamics. Each YDC has at least one active fellowship group that meets on a regular basis to provide a spiritual foundation for youth. Click here for more information on DBOM and the Rings of Fellowship curriculum.

Other responsibilities of chaplains include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Providing faith-based counseling to a juvenile or a staff member upon their request
  • Coordinating all volunteer services including the recruitment, training and management of the religious volunteers
  • Developing community-based and faith-based support systems for youth transitioning from facility care to community care
  • Being involved in new employee orientation at department-operated facilities
  • Managing and supervising the provision of religious services on an interfaith and interdenominational basis

Below is a list of chaplains and the youth development centers in which they are located:

Edisson Etienne - Chatham Youth Development Center
Freddie Barnes - Edgecombe Youth Development Center
James Cavanaugh- Lenoir Youth Development Center 
Ben Whitlock - Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center