Court overturns legal challenge to prison ministry

.- A ruling against a long-standing prison ministry that was in danger of being barred from Iowa prisons was overturned in a federal court on Monday.

A lower court had ordered Prison Fellowship Ministries’ InnerChange Freedom Initiative to repay $1.5 million to the state because of alleged constitutional violations in its prisoner rehabilitation program.  The Federal Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit overturned the lower court’s ruling.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, an inter-faith public interest law firm, represented InnerChange and Prison Fellowship in its appeal.

Becket Fund National Litigation Director Eric Rassbach called the decision "a huge victory for faith-based programs." 

"A $1.5 million judgment against them would have crippled the most successful criminal rehabilitation program in the state. The Eight Circuit decided faith-based organizations can't be blindly excluded just because they are faith-based. States have to consider what the programs are actually doing,” Rassbach said.

Prison Fellowship President Mark Earley expressed gratitude to the court for the decision.  "What was at stake here, at its heart, is public safety. The keys to reducing recidivism and protecting the public from repeat offenses are the very kinds of effective rehabilitation and re-entry services provided by the InnerChange Freedom Initiative," he said.

InnerChange provides all its prisoner rehabilitation services free of charge.  Today’s ruling permits InnerChange to continue its programs using private funds.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees

Liturgical Calendar

July 25, 2014

Saint James, Apostle

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 20:20-28


Daily Readings

First Reading:: 2 Cor 4: 7-15
Gospel:: Mt 20: 20-28

Saint of the Day

St. James »


Homily of the Day

Mt 20:20-28


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: