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Religions 2018, 9(7), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9070210

Religious Liberty in Prisons under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act following Holt v Hobbs: An Empirical Analysis

Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019, USA
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Received: 20 June 2018 / Revised: 29 June 2018 / Accepted: 1 July 2018 / Published: 7 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Crime: Theory, Research, and Practice)
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Abstract

Religion in the United States remains a consistent source of conflict not only because of the breadth and depth of personal religious commitment, but also because of guarantees from the United States Constitution. The First Amendment protects religious Free Exercise but also constrains federal, state, and local governments from establishing official government religions, endorsing religions or religion itself. Despite the risk of potential conflicts with the constitution’s text, Congress has supported laws that expand religious liberty. One such example is the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (2000), which significantly enhanced prisoners’ right to religious exercise above the minimum provided by the First Amendment. In the 2015 case of Holt v. Hobbs, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Muslim prisoner who had been denied his request for religious accommodations under RLUIPA because the prison failed to satisfy the act’s strict scrutiny standard before it denied accommodations to a prisoner to practice his faith. Via an analysis of case law since Holt v. Hobbs was decided in January 2015 until March 2018, we investigate the extent to which Holt has affected judicial voting in RLUIPA cases and how such voting may have been influenced by judges’ ideological dispositions. View Full-Text
Keywords: religious rights; prisoners; prisoner accommodations; religious land use and institutionalized persons act; United States supreme court religious rights; prisoners; prisoner accommodations; religious land use and institutionalized persons act; United States supreme court
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Wasserman, L.M.; Connolly, J.P.; Kerley, K.R. Religious Liberty in Prisons under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act following Holt v Hobbs: An Empirical Analysis. Religions 2018, 9, 210.

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