Florida Opens America's First Faith-Based Prison

December 25, 2003

Source: Beliefnet


On December 25, 2003 Beliefnet reported, "Nearly 800 inmates from 26 faiths attended the dedication ceremony of what Gov. Jeb Bush called the nation's first faith-based prison - a facility focused on encouraging the spirituality of inmates of all faiths. Along with regular prayer sessions, the Lawtey Correctional Institution will offer religious studies, choir practice, religious counseling and other spiritual activities seven days a week. Participation is voluntary and inmates are free to transfer out... Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, called the prison part of 'a major constitutional showdown'over government funding for religious programs. The ACLU is weighing the possibility of filing a lawsuit."