Prisoner Sues Lane County Over Forced Religion

May 25, 2009

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The Register Guard

Wire Service: AP

An Oregon man has filed a federal lawsuit claiming his civil rights were violated when required to live at a place with daily religious services following his release from prison.

Jason Dwain Davies, 32, was sentenced in 2005 after pleading guilty to identity theft, drug possession and resisting arrest. According to his lawsuit, Lane County parole officers required him to live at the Eugene Mission once he got out in October 2006. The mission provides food and beds to homeless people, but makes them attend daily gospel services.

The lawsuit contends Lane County violated the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state clause by requiring Davies to live in a fundamentally religious facility while under supervision of parole and probation officers. He seeks unspecified monetary damages and an injunction barring the county from imposing the same requirement on others.