California senator broadcasts bill to offer protection to religious practices of incarcerated folks – Bezaleel World Ministries

(RNS) — Rami Nsour, an advocate for the incarcerated, has seen firsthand how tough it might be for those being held in California’s jails and prisons to use their faith. As his customers are transferred from one facility to another, he talked about, they’ve to stay to different laws governing religious garments and grooming.

On Monday (Feb. 6), Nsour joined California lawmakers and multifaith leaders as they unveiled regulation which may create a statewide protection for religious garments, headwear and grooming practices at state and native correctional and detention facilities.

“Protecting prisoners’ freedom of religion must no longer be seen as coddling the inmates or ‘hug-a-thug’ custom, two phrases I deplore,” talked about Nsour, who co-founded the nonprofit Tayba Foundation to assist those impacted via incarceration. “Protecting that correct is upholding our oath to the Constitution.”

Written via Sen. Dave Cortese, a San Jose Democrat, the bill, SB 309, aims to “stop incidents of religious persecution in jail,” the senator talked about all through a press conference out of doors the state Capitol on Monday.

While California Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation insurance coverage insurance policies seek the advice of with the exact to placed on constructive religious garments and headwear, those laws are in impression greatest at state-run facilities, per a fact sheet regarding the proposed bill. Detention facilities in native jurisdictions have various insurance coverage insurance policies and procedures.

Furthermore, the state’s division of corrections and rehabilitation greatest provides “minimal protections” and “does no longer meet the heightened protections as equipped beneath federal regulation,” per the fact sheet.

The regulation will receive advantages no longer greatest prisoners nevertheless all Californians, Cortese talked about, pointing to analyze showing that inmates who’re allowed to “freely exercise religious apply and dress” are a lot much less liable to be fascinated with violent incidents while serving their sentence and are a lot much less almost certainly to return to jail or jail.

California State Senator Dave Cortese, joined by multi-faith leaders, unveils a bill that would create a statewide policy for religious clothing, headwear, and grooming practices among incarcerated individuals in state and local correctional and detention facilities, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, in Sacramento, California. Video screen grab

California State Senator Dave Cortese, joined via multifaith leaders, unveils a bill which may create a statewide protection for religious garments, headwear and grooming practices amongst incarcerated folks in state and native correctional and detention facilities, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, in Sacramento, California. Video show display grasp

“Californians nonetheless maintain their elementary civil rights after they develop to be incarcerated. We want to stand for that,” Cortese talked about. “Muslims, Sikhs, Jews and completely different religious minorities must maintain their rights to non secular dress and apply with out harm or disruption.”

RELATED: Muslim woman sues Los Angeles Police Division for forcibly taking out her hijab

Nazeehah Khan, with the California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Family members, talked about the group has represented numerous Muslim women inside the state who’ve been stripped of their hijab, the usual Islamic headband, while incarcerated or in custody. These circumstances have led to Prolonged Seashore, Orange County and Santa Clara changing their insurance coverage insurance policies, CAIR talked about in a commentary.

“While these circumstances had been successful, the underlying issue of non-uniform insurance coverage insurance policies addressing religious attire exists throughout the overwhelming majority of the state,” Khan talked about. “Religious headwear, garments and grooming don’t appear to be merely acts of religious expression. They’re the manifestation of a person’s identification, an embodiment of their values.”

Jasjit Singh, board president of the Jakara Movement, spoke in fortify of the bill, on account of, “for Sikhs, wearing our turbans is an integral part of coaching our faith.” Turbans, he talked about, “are part of our our our bodies. We’re inseparable.”

For Singh, faith communities are an essential neighborhood of fortify for prisoners, and “which will play essential place in easing a prisoner’s transition once more into communities.”

Rabbi Seth Castleman, director of the spiritually based totally mentoring program Exodus Problem, talked about he has witnessed the religious rights of parents taken away while incarcerated. 

“We must be supporting the religious apply of parents as a tool for reducing recidivism,” Castleman talked about all through the inside track conference. “These are the bedrock values of our nation and one factor that every conservatives and liberals can get at the back of, the religious freedom of all of us.”

According to Nsour, the regulation launched Monday isn’t about “supporting a self-help program” solely on account of the have an effect on it’ll have on the “desistance of crime.”

The bill, he talked about, “is prepared reminding us who we’re as Americans — that each single particular person on this land, whether or not or not in jail or no longer, has the exact to freely apply the religion of their choice.”

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