Religious Services

Immigration Detention and Religious Services Program
Through the Religious Services Program, CWS provides spiritual care to detainees of all faiths in government-administered immigration detention centers. Photo: Carol Fouke-Mpoyo

The program is culturally and religiously pluralistic, addressing the religious needs of all detainees by honoring and respecting each person’s faith tradition and providing all with opportunities to worship and practice their beliefs according to their faith’s traditions.  

RSP staff and volunteers minister to Christians, Jews, Muslims, Bahá’is, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, Rastafarains, Zorastinians, Sufis, Janists, Shintos, Unitarian Universalists, Pagans, people with indigenous faiths, those of others faiths, and agnostics and atheists.  

Their role calls for them to be a non-judgmental, caring influence in the lives of RSP detainees and staff alike, and a visible model of respect and caring for each person’s spiritual needs.  They may NOT proselytize or seek to “convert” those they are called to serve.

RSPs provide:

  • opportunities for both individual and group religious worship, practice, and prayer services
  • clearance of special diets according to religious practices
  • pastoral visits, care and counseling   
  • ongoing spiritual care and compassion for RSP detainees and staff
  • crisis intervention
  • religious education
  • advice to SPC personnel concerning religious practices

The program facilitates these opportunities in accordance with current law, federal regulations, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s 2011 Performance Based Detention  Standards.

Learn more about detention in the U.S. and how you can get involved with our Religious Services program.

The CWS/RSP National Program Director

The Rev. Dr. Joan M. Maruskin
Director, CWS Religious Services Program
Suite 700, 475 Riverside Drive
New York, NY 10115
(202) 203-0676 phone

CWS/RSPs and staff  

El Centro, California
Church World Service Religious Services Program
300 S. Imperial Ave., Suite #7
El Centro, CA 92243-3149
760 353-9577 (Marissa Herrera)

Rev. Richard Barnes, Coordinator
Drew Hendrickson, Specialist
Marissa Herrera, Administrative Assistant

Krome/Miami, Florida
Church World Service Religious Services Program
1924 NW 84th, Suite 406
Beacon Center
Miami, FL  33126
305 774-6770 Ext. 151 (Delia Coleridge)

Rev. Carlos Cordova, Coordinator
Delia Coleridge, Administrative Assistant
Carlos Bustamante, Specialist

Port Isabel / Los Fresnos, Texas
Church World Service Religious Services Program
PO Box 16
28259 Pereira Compassion Road (Road 745)
Los Fresnos, TX 78566
956 233-8877 (Iris Jauregui)

Jesse Araque, Coordinator
Iris Jauregui, Administrative Assistant
Ezequiel Duran, Specialist

CWS is an equal opportunity employer / program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.