The tiny town of Wakita, OK (probably best known for its appearance in the movie Twister) is building an all-Christian prison. The entire staff is required to be born-again, evangelical Christians, from the warden to the janitor.

As for the prisoners, "They don't have to go to church, or Bible study, but they have to participate in the curriculum, which is Christ-centered," Robinson said.

Talk about a captive audience. Any bets on how 'good behavior' and 'model prisoner' will be judged based on how completely the prisoners have accepted Jay-sus?

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They claim to have checked and say it is legal, but judging from the article, it's just the legality of only hiring employees of the 'proper' faith. The fact that they would (literally) have captive audience that the state would be forcing to undergo religious proselytization is sure to fail the Establishment clause.

Of course, if someone were to build an all-Islam prison, where everything was Allah-centric, these same people's complaints could be heard on Mars.
If I understand correctly it is a private prison and inmates have to volunteer to go there. If it is, in fact, a religious organization then they can even hire employees of a certain belief. It's exact nature could be up to debate, however, which could raise questions of discrimination. My concern would be tax dollars funding a religious organization, but the government contracts with religious organizations sometimes, as in the LAPD Explorers program that has a thread around here somewhere. I'm not sure about tax dollars directly funding the promotion of religion like this prison would, but we do fund abstinence only sex ed. which we all know is religious with brochures and whatnot coming from religious orgs.

At first glance I can't find anything illegal about it, but there are certainly gray areas and I'm not a lawyer.
If the inmates have to volunteer to go there, that would remove one of the more serious obstacles.

A religious organization can only hire members of their faith, but if they are taking money from the government it get complicated. Moreso than it used to be, before Bush's administration began their faith-based initiative and exemptions allowing religions to discriminate in hiring were added in.
We need atheist prison guards at this prison.
That is some harsh punishment.
This seems to be one of those things that need a letter writing campaign.
PZ: "At first glance, I thought this story was good news: Oklahoma is going to build a Christian prison! About time, I thought, I can think of a few Christians who deserve a few years for faith-abuse. But no…it's a prison to be administered by Christians to give Christian criminals special privileges. Not quite as appropriate, but more in line with what we've gotten used to from our dominant faith tradition."
But if they are in prison, then are they not true Christians? Or can you be a true Christian before and after a crime and only lose the designation for the moment that you are making God cry?
And if you don't answer with guilty to enough charges, they throw in some extra penance, because you are obviously lying, which is a sin.
Unless it is for Jesus.

So do they go free when all is forgiven?


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