Catholic Prisoner Sues After Rehab Program Forces Conversion

July 20, 2004

Source: ACLU

On July 20, 2004 ACLU reported, "The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan today asked the state Supreme Court to hear the case of a Catholic man who was criminally punished for not completing a Pentecostal drug rehabilitation program, which prevented him from practicing his own religious faith. His request to be transferred to another program that would allow him to practice his own faith was denied and he was sentenced to six months in jail and boot camp...Joseph Hanas of Genesee County, now 22 years old, pled guilty in the Genesee Circuit Court to a charge of marijuana possession in February 2001. He was placed in the county’s 'drug court' for non-violent offenders, which allowed for a deferred sentence and possible dismissal of the charges if he successfully completed the Inner City Christian Outreach Residential Program. Unbeknownst to Hanas when he entered the program, one of the goals of Christian Outreach was to convert him from Catholicism to the Pentecostal faith."