Lawsuits Over Governmental Funding of Faith Works Milwaukee

November 30, 2002

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

On November 30, 2002 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that "the American Jewish Committee has filed a legal brief urging a federal appeals court to maintain separation of church and state as it decides a Milwaukee-based case. The organization, a Jewish interest group concerned with religious pluralism, filed the brief along with the Anti-Defamation League and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. The filing opposes government funding of Faith Works Milwaukee, a residential treatment program offering counseling, substance abuse treatment and employment assistance for men. In a two-part decision this year, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that the Workforce Development funding of Faith Works was unconstitutional because the government gave the money directly to the religious-based program. However, she said the Department of Corrections grant was legal because men on probation or parole have a choice of seven agencies from which to receive treatment. In her decision, Crabb said probationers who chose Faith Works were similar to parents who chose religious schools with vouchers. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that such school choice is constitutional."