United States: Always on the outlook for a new captive audience, the evangelical driven InnerChange Freedom Initiative has found the ultimate pool of people to harrass by moving into the business of faith-based prisons.
Fortunately there is one group who is prepared to stand up and point out the blatant disregard for church-state separation that this taxpayer-funded program is abusing.
A state can no more create a faith-based prison than it could set up faith-based public schools or faith-based police departments,says the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which has a federal lawsuit pending against a state-sponsored evangelical Christian project at a prison in Iowa.Governor [Jeb] Bush is trying to merge religion and government....
...Results of a two-year study, released in June by the University of Pennsylvania and the conservative Manhattan Institute, showed that InnerChange graduates were 50% less likely to be arrested and 60% less likely to be reincarcerated than those who did not take part.
Which doesn't necessarily mean they aren't up to their wicked ways, it just means they haven't been caught and have possibly benefited from their brush with evangelical Christianity by being far better bullshit artists.
InnerChange has sparked debate, however, because it requires inmates to study the Bible and obliges them to become active church members for three months following release, drawing criticism that it amounts to religious indoctrination.
With a legal system so quick to believe the
Devil made me do it defence, it's no surprise that a heap of prisoners cotton on to the
I repent my evil ways and take the lord into my heart scam for shortening their jail sentences. I expect a lot more will try it at this prison, if for no other reason than to escape the torture by fundies that has been inflicted upon them.
Florida's new approach to inmate reform: a 'faith-based' prison - The Christian Science Monitor, 24th December 2003.