R E T U R N 
Public Correctional Policy on:
Capital PunishmentClassificationCommunity CorrectionsConditions of Confinement Correctional Industry
Female Offender ServicesHigher EducationManagement of Legal Issues and LitigationUse of Force
Policy on ProbationPrivate Sector Involvement in CorrectionsPurpose of CorrectionSentencing Policy
Religious Faith and PracticePolicy on ProbationCorrectional Staff Recruitment and Development
Correctional Standards and AccreditationAppropriate Sanctions and Controls

Religious Faith and Practice

Correctional systems provide opportunities for religious practice by confined persons. These opportunities, however, must not override the choice by some offenders of non-participation in these practices. Protection of religious beliefs and of their exercise is recognized in the U.S. and Canadian constitutions and in other human rights documents.

Policy Statement:

Recognizing the existence of differing religious faiths, correctional systems must be guided by principles not only of voluntary participation, but of equity of opportunity for the practice of religions represented within the offender population. Limited only by reasons of security and order, institutions should:
A. Provide for direction and supervision regarding religious issue and activities by professionally qualified and trained chaplaincy staff;

B. Develop written policy and guidelines for decision making and communications between chaplaincy staff and institutional administrators regarding religious faith and practice within the institution;

C. Provide appropriate facilities and support services needed for individual and group religious activities;

D. Allow the observance of periodic special or ritual activities requested by offenders and deemed essential by the respective religious judicatories or national offices of that religious group;

E. Permit access to chaplains by all offenders and staff;

F. Assure that neither participation nor non-participation in religious activities affects evaluation processes or qualifications for other programs and opportunities by the offender;

G. Document the reasons for restriction of offenders' participation in religious activities or programs, or for limitations of religious practices deemed essential by the respective religious judicatories or national offices of that religious group.

Last Updated: 02/03/2010 10:35 PM
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