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Victory for atheist denied parole for not attending religious substance abuse program


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Victory for atheist denied parole for not attending religious substance abuse program

 

 

A Missouri atheist who was denied probation because he refused to participate in a religious-based substance abuse program has won a legal victory against Western Reception, Diagnostic, and Correctional Center (WRDCC) in St. Joseph.

 

 

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that the district court that dismissed Randall Jackson’s lawsuit with prejudice erred in doing so. Jackson had sued the WRDCC because he claimed that, as an atheist, its Offenders Under Treatment Program (OUTP) violated his rights under the First Amendment.

 

 

According to Jackson, he was required to attend the OUTP in order to be eligible for early release on parole. Once there, he discovered that the program “had required meetings [and] invoked religious tenets by using the serenity prayer and religious meditations.” When he objected to this, OUTP staff suggested he “act as if,” a term of art in the program that means to “assume a role or attitude even if you don’t feel like it,” which is “[a] tool used to assist one in ‘trying on’ new patterns of thought and behavior.”

 

Staff further suggested that he “use ‘God’ as an acronym for ‘good orderly direction.’”

 

 

In his initial complaint, Jackson stated that he “was being coerced by and through an atmosphere designed and intended to change or alter my thinking and behavior. That it would induce conformity by adding pressure and leverage through the hope and desire of achieving a ‘Placement on Parole.’”

 

 

He petitioned the Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC) to be placed in a secular treatment center, but his request was denied. Jackson believes that because of this denial — and his subsequent inability to complete the substance abuse program — he was declared ineligible for early release. Records from the MDOC Board of Probation and Parole back up his assertion, as they claim that “ecause you have not completed a Board stipulated treatment program, the Board is denying your credit release date. Your previously scheduled release date will remain in effect.”

 

 

The state claimed that Jackson could have “sat quietly” during OUTP meetings, and that would not have constituted “coercion” as defined by the Supreme Court. The Eight Circuit Court disagreed, stating that “ased on the existing record, it is also unclear whether the state would have permitted Jackson to remain in, and graduate from, OUTP if he refrained from actively participating in only the faith-based portions of the curriculum.”

 

 

It also claimed that while Jackson has no constitutionally guaranteed right to early parole, he “does have the right to be free from unconstitutional burdens when availing himself of existing ways to access the benefit of early parole. The fact that Jackson did not have a constitutional right to, or statutory guarantee of, early parole does not preclude him from stating a claim of unconstitutional coercion.”

 

 

Therefore, the Court decided, “being required to attend and complete a nonsecular substance abuse treatment program in order to be eligible for early parole violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.”

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Abolish parole altogether.  No good & work time, no inmate pay,  do the time and shut up.

Well, you're certainly nicer than me...

 

Don't feed 'em.

Let 'em grow their own food.

 

Con't clothe 'em.

Let 'em sit in their cells naked.

 

No tv.

Public radio via the PA system.

 

No weight sets.

Let 'em play checkers, chess, and badminton.

 

No conjugal visits.

Family visits through the glass only.

 

No more inmate expense accounts for commissary.

Let 'em keep eating what they grow.

 

Inmates want to riot?

Shoot 'em all.

 

They want to burn the prison?

Let 'em live in the smoldering remains.

 

Bad cop goes to prison?

Gen pop, no segregation.

 

The only exceptions to these rules are to be

applied to rapists and child molestors.

With the use of DNA, if you're found guilty,

there will be no waiting period for sentencing.

You will be taken out back behind the courthouse

and shot.

 

Ok, let's hear from the bleeding hearts now,

about how cold and callous and mean and cruel

I am...

 

 

 

When prison is no longer fun,

maybe society will evolve to a point where

we won't need them.

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Spot on MrParrot!!  I would have copied your post, but didn't want to "Parrot" you!!  :twothumbs: 

Agree all the way, until some people stop living better behind bars then they do outside of them, we are going to have a problem, prison has to be a place NOBODY wants to be!!  Go JOE!!!

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Victory for atheist denied parole for not attending religious substance abuse program

 

In his initial complaint, Jackson stated that he “was being coerced by and through an atmosphere designed and intended to change or alter my thinking and behavior. That it would induce conformity by adding pressure and leverage through the hope and desire of achieving a ‘Placement on Parole.’”

 

 

 

Uh Duh! Yeah, its to get you to change from being a criminal to a normal member of society! :facepalm:

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Abolish parole altogether.  No good & work time, no inmate pay,  do the time and shut up.

 

I would agree to that, the moment they abolish prosecutorial immunity, yearly bonuses for "judges" conviction rates, and remove all monetary rewards for locking up humans.

 

It is estimated as much as 305 of those incarcerated were railroaded.

 

I would venture it is far more.

 

When politicians are immune from laws, judges and DA's get bonuses, and all of them, judges, DA,s and publc defenders all get paid by the SAME place, you have the inept, corruption, and outright fraud that plagues the "legal" system.

 

That's the problem, counties have been known to lock people up just to fill a new jail, when that happens, innocent humans are framed, their lives are destroyed, and some ambitious bastard gets a good conviction ratio for election.

 

I believe in law and order, but it is NATURAL law, COMMON law, or GOD'S law, not these civil statutes and order by decree that the armed tax collectors called police use to oppress the population.

 

As far as the op, i think the guy just saw a chance to make himself out to be a victim.

 

I was a non-Christian for more decades than I have been one, and I just chose not to participate in the Christian holy days, I did however, enjoy the days off, and made sure to drink at least a few toasts to the day.

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I would agree to that, the moment they abolish prosecutorial immunity, yearly bonuses for "judges" conviction rates, and remove all monetary rewards for locking up humans.

 

It is estimated as much as 305 of those incarcerated were railroaded.

 

I would venture it is far more.

 

When politicians are immune from laws, judges and DA's get bonuses, and all of them, judges, DA,s and publc defenders all get paid by the SAME place, you have the inept, corruption, and outright fraud that plagues the "legal" system.

 

That's the problem, counties have been known to lock people up just to fill a new jail, when that happens, innocent humans are framed, their lives are destroyed, and some ambitious bastard gets a good conviction ratio for election.

 

I believe in law and order, but it is NATURAL law, COMMON law, or GOD'S law, not these civil statutes and order by decree that the armed tax collectors called police use to oppress the population.

 

As far as the op, i think the guy just saw a chance to make himself out to be a victim.

 

I was a non-Christian for more decades than I have been one, and I just chose not to participate in the Christian holy days, I did however, enjoy the days off, and made sure to drink at least a few toasts to the day.

Not sure how it happened, but that should read 30% are innocent people doing time.

 

The whole system is broken.

 

Fix the way the court operates, make judges and DA's go to jail, and get a permanent felony when they are caught lying or with holding key information, remove all profit for this absurd and insane "war" on drugs, and then levy punishments based on natural Law.

 

The problem is, it is almost always death.

 

I'm good with that.

 

Even for burglary. I worked hard for my stuff, wanna steal it,  if I'm home I'll shoot your ass.

 

Someone's incompetant to stand trial for raping a little girl?

 

Hang him. I'll pull the lever. Don't wast money locking the worthless bastard up.

 

Got nothing against mentally challenged, heck, it think ALL progressives should have a chance in life......

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Not sure how it happened, but that should read 30% are innocent people doing time.

 

The whole system is broken.

 

Fix the way the court operates, make judges and DA's go to jail, and get a permanent felony when they are caught lying or with holding key information, remove all profit for this absurd and insane "war" on drugs, and then levy punishments based on natural Law.

 

The problem is, it is almost always death.

 

I'm good with that.

 

Even for burglary. I worked hard for my stuff, wanna steal it,  if I'm home I'll shoot your ass.

 

Someone's incompetant to stand trial for raping a little girl?

 

Hang him. I'll pull the lever. Don't wast money locking the worthless bastard up.

 

Got nothing against mentally challenged, heck, it think ALL progressives should have a chance in life......

 

Agreed the system is just as corrupt as any of the others in this country, and you are right that is how it works, hell the defense and prosecuting attorney's are all buddies and milk everyone who comes thru for everything they can get, while pretending to hate each other, just like the Reps and Dems, bunch of con artists screwing us over!!!  :angry:  :angry:

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Agreed the system is just as corrupt as any of the others in this country, and you are right that is how it works, hell the defense and prosecuting attorney's are all buddies and milk everyone who comes thru for everything they can get, while pretending to hate each other, just like the Reps and Dems, bunch of con artists screwing us over!!!  :angry:  :angry:

 

Sometimes I wonder, can it ever get "fixed"?

 

Afraid it is going to take a major reset, will be a lot worse before it ever gets better.

 

If you ended immunity tomorrow you would see the conviction rates drop overnight.

 

That alone is enough to make an honest person shake their head in amazement, which doesn't say much about the people "sitting in judgement" either...

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