Enforcing Religious Freedom in Prison by Quentin Willems
Prisoners in federal and state institutions retain certain religious exercise rights under the Constitution and statutes including the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), and the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA). Many states have similar provisions in their state constitutions and in state law modelled on RFRA. These rights must be balanced with the legitimate concerns of prison officials, including cost, staffing, and, most importantly, prison safety and security. Reconciling these rights and concerns can be a significant challenge for penal institutions, as well as the courts. The United States Commission on Civil Rights examined the legal foundation of prisoners' religious exercise rights, and the rules and guidelines related to religion in federal and state prisons and jails. It also researched the mechanisms federal and state prisons and jails use to facilitate religious requests (where feasible), and to record and process prisoner grievances related to religious exercise. This book focuses on the government's efforts to enforce federal civil rights laws prohibiting religious discrimination in the administration and management of federal and state prisons. This book consists of public documents which have been located, gathered, combined, reformatted, and enhanced with a subject index, selectively edited and bound to provide easy access.