Monday, April 19, 2010

Religious compulsion by the state of California and those 12-step programs

Twelve step programs for addiction ("X-Anonymous") have a storied place in American culture, although their efficacy is dubious (here's an entertaining guide to the criticisms). 

A Northern California parole agent told a parolee that he must attend a religiously-based 12-step program and participate, although the former prisoner stated a preference for a non-religious program.  With no choice, the parolee did attend the assigned meetings, but did not participate fully, and so the parole officer had him arrested and re-imprisoned.  He then sued the state with a result that was clear from the start:
"This is a textbook test of religious freedom," said legal scholar and Princeton University Provost Christopher Eisgruber. "It couldn't be much plainer."

No comments:

Post a Comment