Concurrent Resolution - To Provide Non-Discriminatory Faith Group Practices for the Asatru Faith Inside Prison
This petition had 156 supporters
The Asatru Faith is a recognized religious faith within the Department of Corrections, however, the DOC on a State level discriminates against those who find this faith is right for them by assuming that they are a gang. Many men and women have found that this faith has changed their lives for the good and have gone on to make something of themselves after serving their time.
While on the inside they discovered that there is a price to pay for following this spiritual path and it is a price administered to them by the DOC. Regulations that have been put in place hinder the followers of this religion from gaining the valuable ethical knowledge that leads them on their journeys of self discovery.
Some of these regulations include, but are not limited to: Study groups that require an outside volunteer, holy days that are shifted around inmates work requirments, and land and ritual items to be used during ceremonies are not allowed. While other inmates get to enjoy a freedom in worship, the inmates that are Asatru are targeted because of their faith, and labeled as a Security Threat Group, because many Departments view them as such due to the fact that some inmates have tried to incorporate a racial ideology into the Asatru Faith.
While these things may sound extreme, I would like you to know that it is not something unique to the Asatru Faith. Inmates of all religions have tried to do the same. They meet in Church Services and discuss issues related to gang activity, yet they are not hindered from going every Sunday. Inmates are not placed on the STG list because they are Christian, (Baptist, Catholic, Jewish, or any number of these.) It is discriminatory to place an inmate on an STG list simply because of their choice in faith, as well as to show favortism to other faiths that the Administration agrees with or follows themselves.
The inmates need to be able to have study groups that do not require an outside volunteer, access to literature, blots and ceremonies out doors and with a fire, (which can be verified historically as the proper way to do it) and work proscription days when the holy day falls on a day in which they are required to work. The administration needs to stop targeting someone based on their faith and needs to do a better job of seperating the gangs from the whole group and stop discriminating against the whole group for the acts and behaviors of only a few.
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