National Institute of Corrections
02/22/2012 04:59 PM EST
Efforts are reported that make sure federal civil rights laws prohibiting religious discrimination in federal and state prisons are enforced. Five chapters follow an executive summary: introduction and overview; prisoners’ Free Exercise claims; the U.S. Department of Justice’s enforcement of prisoners’ Free Exercise rights; judicial response—analysis of cases alleging religious discrimination in prisons; and the Commission’s findings and recommendations. “With the intent of furthering religious freedom in prisons while maintaining security, the Commission developed findings and recommendations based on its social science research, case law review, briefing testimony, and interrogatory responses received from the Department of Justice, several state and federal prisons, various prisoner advocacy groups, and other organizations” (p. xiii).
Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
From the perspective of the nation’s professional prison chaplains, America’s state penitentiaries are a bustle of religious activity. Overwhelmingly, state prison chaplains consider religious counseling and other religion-based programming an important aspect of rehabilitating prisoners. Nearly three-quarters of the chaplains (73%), for example, say they consider access to religion-related programs in prison to be “absolutely critical” to successful rehabilitation of inmates.