AHA News |  

AHA Sues for Equal Treatment of Humanist Inmates in Federal Prisons

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Maggie Ardiente
202-238-9088 ext. 116, mardiente@americanhumanist.org

Monica Miller
202-238-9088 ext. 120, mmiller@americanhumanist.org

(Washington, DC, April 8, 2014)— The American Humanist Association and a federal inmate filed a lawsuit against correctional officials at the Federal Bureau of Prisons, challenging the prison's unequal treatment of humanist and atheist inmates.

Jason Holden, a member of the American Humanist Association and the Humanist Community of Silicon Valley in Palo Alto, California, is currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Sheridan, Oregon, which would not grant permission for him to form a humanist study group and refused to recognize humanism as an official religious assignment option as a means to receive benefits similar to other religions.

“The federal prison system has unfairly discriminated against atheist and humanist inmates simply because they lack a belief in God,” said Monica Miller, attorney for the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “It’s unconstitutional for the prison to give inmates of theistic religions special treatment. Humanist inmates should be entitled to meet and study together to the same degree as their theistic counterparts.”

Inmates at FCI have the opportunity to select from a wide range of religious beliefs, including “atheism” and “no preference,” for the benefit of organizing. The lawsuit seeks to have “humanist” recognized as an option alongside other religious assignments.  

Details of the lawsuit can be viewed here

The American Humanist Association is a nonprofit organization advocating progressive values and equality for humanists, atheists, and non-religious Americans. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 180 local chapters and affiliates across America. Humanism is the idea that you can be good without a belief in a god.

American Humanist Association

Today is Openly Secular Day! Show others in your community that they know a huma...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Victory! A public school in Colorado will no longer be allowed to partner with O...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

How are you celebrating Earth Day? Here is how some of our chapters are celebrat...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

The latest issue of the Humanist magazine features SMART Recovery USA, a secular...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

“A freshman student was required to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, despite...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Who was Leo P. Thornton?

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

National Day of Reason is two weeks away! If you think reason, not prayer, shoul...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

For more information about The Humanist Institute, please visit: http://humanist...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

The AHA is excited to present The Onion with the 2015 Humanist Media Award. This...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Only 5 more days until ReAsonCon 2015. Get your tickets today! Visit the link be...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Seculars have been quiet and invisible as a demographic for too long, but Openly...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Don't miss the upcoming annual BSIC panel discussion entitled “Imagining the Fut...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

We’re featuring new comics this week by Polyp Cartoonist! For more great comics...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

What would Molly Ringwald say about privacy? Should a student attending a privat...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Luis Granados explains why Ayaan Hirsi is wrong about Islamic reform in his revi...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA legal director David Niose, author of Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming Am...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

This week, AHA staff member Jessica Xiao interviewed Lynn Rothschild, senior sci...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Today is Ask an Atheist Day! Have a question about atheism, humanism, or non-bel...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

Could we see an open Humanist in Congress in 2016? It seems Maryland Senator Jam...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

This week on The Humanist Hour #146: A Conversation with Lisa Montoya, Seminary...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

Mother's Day is right around the corner! If you are shopping for that special la...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

The world's most and least religious countries.

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Shortly after we ensure that teachers won't pass out Bibles to their students at...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Robert Ray, President of Humanists of North Puget Sound, delivered a humanist in...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Don't miss Kelly Carlin, daughter of atheist comedian George Carlin, at AHA's 74...

12 days ago

American Humanist Association

What should the humanist response to terrorism be? Clay Farris Naff has some pro...

12 days ago