Prison Program Discontinuation Appealed
February 14, 2007
CBNNews.com – Americans United for Separation of Church and State and a retired Iowa official are locked in a battle over the discontinuation of a prison program.
A federal appeals court has been told that the Christian prison program in Iowa, sponsored by Prison Fellowship Ministries, should be allowed to continue because it improves inmate behavior and reduces recidivism.
Gordon Allen, retired Iowa deputy attorney general, says that Iowa doesn’t want the $1.5 million reimbursement that a federal judge ordered the ministry to pay, because “the state gets a benefit” it couldn’t get otherwise.
An ACLU attorney responded that state funds should not be used for religious indoctrination, and no proof has been offered to show that the program reduces recidivism.
Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor sat on the appeals panel. She questioned the lower court judge’s decision to order reimbursement rather than issue an injunction