Men’s Colony inmates lacking religious life, grand jury says

July 15, 2015

CMCshadowA San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury report released Tuesday states one major issue exists at the California Men’s Colony: religious life has been placed on the “back burner.”

Grand jury members inspected the prison last September and interviewed a number of staff members. The inspection report states custody staff have limited attendance at religious services, constituting a violation of the California Code of Regulations.

Also, prison chapels have leaks, asbestos and mold. Prison chaplains are unpaid and must report to mid-managers at the prison, according to the grand jury report.

“While inmates are required to give up many of their rights when entering the prison, religious expression may only be restricted when a compelling government interest has been established,” the report states. “If you are of a religious bent the three CMC chapel structures are not a fitting place for God to make his home.”

The grand jury calls on the Men’s Colony to pay chaplains and bring chapels into compliance with state building codes. Also, chaplains should report to an associate warden, not to mid-management, according to the grand jury’s recommendation.

Additionally, the grand jury says the Men’s Colony needs to fix its moldy bread problem. Corcoran State Prison currently supplies the bread at CMC.

The Men’s Colony is not required by law to respond to the grand jury, but the grand jury encourages a response.

A Men’s Colony spokesperson told the Tribune that the grand jury report contained information that was not complete or inaccurate. CMC provided the grand jury with follow-up information, but it was not included in the report, Lt. Monica Ayon said.

Ayon said the CMC chapels are currently under repair, and the state budget and regulations restrict how the California Men’s Colony compensates and communicates with its chaplains.


Loading...
judith

religion is a dodge all inmates try. It doesn’t work with parole boards. And, no Islam is not on the rise in California prisons. What I have seen in my 7 years working in CMC is Black Muslims, people I actually respect – go figure! -have no relation to the America-hating Nation of Islam.


SamLouis

Now you’re suggesting that “black muslims” do not practice islam?


abigchocoholic

“Site the source for your “statistic.”


and


“What a load of bull manure. Your “pretty strong proof against religion” comment is nothing more than a display of prejudice.


and


“Those driven by materialism (including those with advanced degrees in science) have little interest in grace. Instead they make foolish comments like your own.”

——————-


That you’d rather scream foul and call names and stick you head in the sand than look it up tells volumes about you. Easy to find, just do a google search. You can’t get the information at church. In fact, you can’t get hardly any truthful information at church. Deal with reality. It is what it is. Not all religious are criminals but pretty much all criminals are religious.


“Of the prisoners willing to give their religious affiliations, atheists make up 0.07% of the prison population. Protestants make up 28.7% of the prison population; Catholics, 24%; Muslims, 5.5%; American Indians, 3.1%. etc. etc.”


http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/07/16/what-percentage-of-prisoners-are-atheists-its-a-lot-smaller-than-we-ever-imagined/


http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/why-atheists-make-85-percent-americas-scientists-and-07-percent-its-prison


http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/are-prisoners-less-likely-to-be-atheists/


http://www.quora.com/What-percentage-of-U-S-prison-inmates-believe-in-God


http://www.skepticfiles.org/american/prison.htm


mbbizpro

Because one identifies themselves as Catholic, Christian, Methodist or whatever, it does not make them a follower of Christ. That is true even if they “Believe” in God. Any study of Christianity would show you that. The fact that you “googled” it doesn’t make it true. As far as your “AlterNet” source, this is from Wikipedia. (I know you will like that based on everything that you can google being true.) “AlterNet is a progressive/liberal activist news service and a project of the non-profit Independent Media Institute.” An article written by a liberal whack job doesn’t make it true. Your bias is very evident. If you like, I will expose the bias of each of the articles that you posted.


mbbizpro

And by the way, Bruce Jenner identifies as a female.


SamLouis

You made the claim, it’s up to you to back it up.


To infer that because most prisoners are religious that religion in itself is necessarily bad is stunningly obtuse. Actually it’s worse than that, it’s prejudicial. It’s the whining of an anti-faith bigot.


I’m waiting for information that will “prove” your personal belief.


abigchocoholic

You made the claim, it’s up to you to back it up.

——————


Which I just did, which was quite easy.


So you’re agreeing with the statistic now?


SamLouis

I never disagreed with your “statistic” — go reread what I posted. What I took issue with is the ludicrously ignorant and bigoted inference that you draw from it — that because most prisoners are religious (at least in theory) that religion in itself is necessarily bad.


You got caught…


abigchocoholic

First you say:

“What a load of bull manure”


and


“Those with little material possessions and plenty of time on their hands often find their way to God.”


and


“Those driven by materialism (including those with advanced degrees in science) have little interest in grace. Instead they make foolish comments like your own.”


and then you say:


“I never disagreed with your “statistic”

———————————-

Your histrionics aside, the statistic is valid and stands on own. You must deal with reality. Fantasy you can ignore or not at your leisure.


SamLouis

Nice song-and-dance but I never disagreed with the “statistic” — only the terribly repugnant inference you derived from it.


abigchocoholic

I never disagreed with the “statistic” — only the terribly repugnant inference you derived from it.

—————

You did but putting that behind us, the only inference to be drawn is that religion doesn’t make a difference. It’s just fantasy.


Plenty of studies and statistics showing praying makes no difference whatsoever. There’s an old funny saying–“they don’t put emergency rooms in churches for a reason.”


SamLouis

We get it — you’re a hater of faith. You hate God. That’s on you. Just stop with the song and dance of trying to defend your downright ugly inference.


Pelican1

Wait a minute…back up the Popemobile…I thought that all these guys find God in prison… at least that’s what they tell the parole board every time they have a hearing.


mbbizpro

Their behavior and actions tell far more than empty words. I think perhaps you watch too many TV shows though. Probably, much like me, you have never attended a Parole Board Hearing. LOL>


Ted Slanders

“Also, prison chapels have leaks, asbestos and mold. Prison chaplains are unpaid and must report to mid-managers at the prison, according to the grand jury report.”


First thing, if one is a true Christian, then they can pray away the leaks, asbestos, and mold. Jesus stated; “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, BELIEVING, ye shall receive.” (Matthew 21:22) Key word: “believe,” which triggers the prayer in a direct absolute manner. Anyone want to argue Jesus’ point on this? I didn’t think so.


Secondly, do you think Jesus would want to be paid for preaching His word? It is ungodly for any chaplain to require payment for doing what he is suppose to do in the first place, blaspheme!


If we do the simple math, if the Men’s Colony, aka, PRISON, lets religious freedom within it’s realm, this could cause even more strife in that the many “divisions” of a faith would have to be represented and could trigger another Inquisition or Crusade where one faith is against another faith!


As if gang violence in prisons isn’t enough, can you see the Catholic brothers going against the brothers of Mormonism, expounding upon them that their beliefs are a ruse? Lest we forget the Jehovah Witnesses gang against the Jews gang of twelve in the court yard shouting “we stole your God in the New Testament, neener, neener?” No, this is a recipe for more needless stress for the employees of the SLO prison.


Let the prisoners have their version of faith within their cells to read on their own, therefore, this will save even more prison gangs forming at our prison, and will enhance the safety of prison personnel.


Amen.


mbbizpro

So Ted, why don’t you spend your professional time uncompensated? Your anti Christian rants are boring.


Ted Slanders

mbbizpro,


What I have never understood is why anyone would state that I am anti-christian when I bring forth actual bible chapter and verse in it’s literal form? When one posits such a notion, they are basically stating that the bible of which I reference, is anti-christian!


If I can be frank, and you can remain mbbizpro, were you sent here by Satan to disrupt God’s word?


mbbizpro

No Ted, what is anti Christian is using phrases that suit your purposes and not considering the entire work, what the context of the Chapter/Verse are and misconstruing what you present. You may think that you are the most clever Atheist alive, but, believe me, you are nothing but a person with too much time on his hands and a hatred of Christians.


Ted Slanders

mbbizpro,


With all due respect, the prayer passage in question stands alone irrelative to any context that it is in, as shown in the full chapter of Matthew 21. In fact, Jesus substantiates the “absolute of prayer” once again in Mark 11:24. “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24) Understand the “literal” context of scripture where the reader does not have to conveniently interpret it to mean something else to save face.


With your continued presence within Cal Coast News, are we to assume that you have too much time on your hands? Are you playing the “pot” or “kettle” today?


mbbizpro, I am sorry to inform you that you’re guilty of the following godly inspired passage, to wit; “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)


Good day.


mbbizpro

Your false words continue. No one verse stands alone.


Ted Slanders

mbbizpro,


The verses stand for what they represent, the LITERAL promise that one will receive what they pray for if they believe, it’s as simple as that.


There is no need for the use of a decoder ring with it’s latest apps, nor a crystal ball, or the insidious use of hermeneutics to read LITERAL passages.


I always find it interesting that when one makes a statement that our Hebrew God of our Christian faith words are false, they never follow up biblically and show me why, other than to just make the weak statement that you did above.


I wlll pray even harder for you tonight to comprehend the term “literal” when it’s relative to biblical passages.


moderator

Let’s talk about Ted instead of what he said personalities are easier targets then ideas


mbbizpro

The ideas were refuted. Next!


Ted Slanders

mbbizpro,


Again, with as much respect that I can muster for you at this time, the “concepts” that I’ve brought forth were NOT refuted in a logical and rational manner whatsoever. You continue to grasp for proverbial straws that are not there for you to begin with. I must inform you that your “hearsay” is not a valid foundation to prove a point.


You are keeping me quite busy in praying to our version of God so that you will be able to see your wrongs before it’s too late.


mbbizpro

If the “concepts” were not refuted in your opinion, it is only due to your lack of comprehension.


Ted Slanders

mbbizpro,


No, it is your lack of not understanding the term “literal” within context of a scripture.


I would suggest that you invest in asbestos suits and wear them all the time, because I can almost hear the trap doors of Hell springing open in your behalf upon Judgment Day!


I lost another one to Satan.


mbbizpro

And to put things in the proper context, “believing” refers to believing in God. Whatever is asked in faith, agreeable to the will of God, which is contained in his covenant, word, and promises, and makes for his glory, and the good of his people, shall be given. Much different than praying for Asbestos to go away false prayers.


Pelican1

You two need to get a pew!


Ted Slanders

Pelican1,


With what is needed for my fellow believer, it would require more room than a pew has to offer so as to have more room to enlighten mbbizpro upon the scriptures.


mbbizpro

Okay Mr. Bible expert! Who is the writer of the book of James? Why did he write it? What was happening to him? James, thought to be the half brother of Jesus, wrote the letter after the death of Jesus and James conversion to the belief of Jesus as the Son of God. The writings are his opinions of what he saw and his exhortations to others based on his beliefs. In no place is this book thought to be the direct word of God. Now go ahead, Google another Bible verse, use it to make a point that is incoherent and ill conceived so that you can try to exhibit what you believe to be your intellectual superiority and continue to mock Christians.


SamLouis

James was not the “half brother” of Jesus Christ as we think of a “brother” or “sister” today. Mary, Mother of Jesus bore one Child — Jesus the Christ. That belief is held by a huge majority of Christendom.


James would have been a cousin or a very close family friend.


moderator

very little to no respect for celibacy in judaism then or now .’L’chaim’ to life!


mbbizpro

Sam, it is widely acknowledged that James is the son of Joseph, father of Jesus.


SamLouis

No, it’s not “widely acknowledged.” There is some speculation that Joseph might have sired a child with a wife that passed away before he came in contact with Mary, but it’s just that, speculation that is not upheld by the Bible.


Ted Slanders

mbbizpro.


First thing, there is no need for you to get so flustered over the understanding of literal biblical passages, okay? Take a deep breath, we’re on the same side, but differ in that you want your bible your way, and not God’s way.


Secondly, why ask me who the writer of the book of James was, when you followed by saying who the writer was in addition to your treatise about the details of the book of James? I do not want to go deeply into Jesus’ brothers and sisters that are biblically backed by the scriptures in a LITERAL form, for the sake of brevity at this time.


To respectfully correct you once again, ALL of the scriptures are godly inspired no matter who wrote them as the following passage so dictates; “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20-21)


Furthermore, Jesus is not the Son of God because as of 325AD at the Council of Nicea in Rome, it was “voted” upon that Jesus is in fact, God incarnate. This is how our faith evolves over the years and continues to do so with the varying “divisions” of our faith.


“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16)


I am deeply troubled by your notion of wanting me to display other passages, presumably in their literal form as well, but this only upsets you because you cannot accept scripture in the literal if it does not project what you subjectively want it too. Therefore, I do not want to upset you further, other than to say that you are the one mocking the Christian faith by continually trying in vain to rewrite the scriptures to change what Jesus actually stated in the verses in question. Your ungodly position of taking a teaspoon of “spin doctoring” along with tablespoon of “hermeneutics”, will come back to bite you upon Judgment Day.


You are keeping me very busy in praying for your enlightenment.


mbbizpro

Your misinterpretations earn you nothing.


Ted Slanders

mbbizpro,


You have yet to “biblically” show us how they are allegedly misinterpreted. Oh, the irony!


I am tired of praying for you in the hopes that you would actually show us how the LITERAL passages are to be taken in a different vein, so you’re on your own now, good luck on Judgment Day.


Ted Slanders

mbbizpro,


I have to correct you in word definition. In the passage in question once again, it is literal with no interpretation needed. It does not say in any way that by the “will of God” will your prayers be answered, but instead, states an ABSOLUTE that they “will be answered” in a direct manner if one believes. There is no “if, ands, or buts.”


Jesus stated; “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, BELIEVING, ye shall receive.” (Matthew 21:22)


Remember this passage for you future enlightenment so as to be more godly in not trying in vain to rewrite the bible, to wit: “Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.” (2 Peter 1:20)


I will pray for your enlightenment tonight, and you can thank me later.


achillesheal

Prison officials, prison chaplains and scholars claim that Islam is the fastest growing religion behind bars. Although there are no reliable statistics, estimates suggest that 35,000-40,000 inmates convert to Islam each year.


Maybe religion in prison shouldn’t be a priority.


mbbizpro

I don’t doubt your statement. Perhaps something is lacking in how we handle things that creates the attraction to Islam. Maybe if we didn’t force them into moldy rooms with asbestos and lead hazards?


achillesheal

Or it’s a way to justify rape and murder and believe that god approves. Alleviates that little conscience factor. Gives them a purpose in an otherwise purposeless life.


SamLouis

“estimates”?


Sources?


achillesheal

Look it up yourself. Its not hard. This isn’t aterm paper, teacher.


SamLouis

So your comments are bull manure. That figures…


centralcoastscott

These inmates have made bad choices. As a taxpayer I do not feel compelled to pay for chapel upgrades, etc.


The Grand Jury report states, “….religious expression may only be restricted when a compelling government interest has been established….”


But it also states, “If you are of a religious bent the three CMC chapel structures are not a fitting place for God to make his home.”


So these inmates have THREE chapels, but because they are worn out structures – much like all of CMC – the taxpayer is expected to pay because the religious freedoms of the inmates is being somehow restricted.


Question, how many of these inmates went to a “chapel” when they were free men? Very few, I suspect. Now that they are behind bars and have “seen God”, is it the taxpayers responsibility to construct fancy new chapels so these inmates can seek some kind of forgiveness?


I regularly see the CMC vans in the Twin Cities Hospital area; these inmates are receiving better healthcare than some hard working, law abiding citizens. Upon their return back to CMC they have a hot meal and their own bed waiting for them. Some hard working, law abiding citizens do not even enjoy these basic things.


Inmates should not be entitled to all the “frills” that the law abiding, taxpaying public has EARNED. Let the inmates use what’s there already!


Scott


Jorge Estrada

Religion should be respected as a part of their recovery. A book of their choice is all that should be provided.


mbbizpro

There is value in leadership and fellowship in the rehabilitation process as well as life in general. Chapels in prisons are not what one sees in the outside world. I think that a meeting place, with minimal furnishings that is free of mold, asbestos and lead and leaks is not too much to provide. Inmates are provided libraries, recreational facilities, and more. Some of those facilities could provide dual purpose for worship and should be made available if space/safety is an issue in the Chapels.


mbbizpro

You have to be kidding me. We pay for sex change operations for inmates and you object to providing safe facilities for worship? The chapels have leaks, asbestos and mold. As far as worship being a frill, I think that may be one thing that provides significant value in the rehabilitation process.


centralcoastscott

Ah yes, the taxpayer paying for sex change operations…. This is an inexcusable waste of taxpayer funds. I most certainly object to that. No inmate should be entitled to a sex change operation. What a total misuse of public money.


Some inmates can be rehabilitated, but worship is not a driving factor. The reason law abiding, hard working citizens are like they are is primarily because of their own individual moral compass and work ethic.


Of course worship plays a role for some successful citizens, but I think the majority of successful citizens achieve “success” using their own personal sense of direction.


Scott


SamLouis

Strawman…


mbbizpro

Yet we should not provide a safe environment for worship if that helps achieve success? We give them counseling, and the results are poor. We pay staff to do that as well as provide the facilities. I am not suggesting that we provide the Sistene Chapel, just a safe place free of hazards.


SamLouis

I suspect providing baseline “religious life” facilities for inmates is actually an important way to ultimately SAVE taxpayer $$$.


I really don’t know the condition of the existing chapels but “leaks, asbestos and mold” doesn’t sound too healthy — or ultimately inexpensive to the taxpayer. The three chapels should be “no frills” and no “leaks, asbestos (or) mold.”


smile4thecamera

If you believe, then God resides in you no matter where you are. Even in a cell.


Stunned

“If you are of a religious bent the three CMC chapel structures are not a fitting place for God to make his home.” Being a Christian for many years this made me laugh. A fitting place for God?


Some of my best times studying the bible have been under a tree or munching an apple in the grocery store parking lot so, while I’d love to see pretty chapels and things I feel this is pretty much off base.


And let them pinch mold off of the bread as they did on the streets. Builds character.


SamLouis

As “a Christian for many years” why don’t you volunteer to help out at one of the CMC chapels? They welcome the help, that much I know.


Perhaps then you’ll realize the distinction between worshiping in a prison chapel replete with “leaks, asbestos and mold” versus “under a tree or munching an apple in the grocery store parking lot.”


mbbizpro

“And let them pinch mold off of the bread as they did on the streets. Builds character.” Not a very Christ like thought. Statements like this, from “Christians” are why we are viewed as hypocrites.


abigchocoholic

Known prison statistic: 99% of prisoners are religious. They are the most religious group of people in America. The least religious group in America? Those with advanced degrees in Science.


It’s not causation it’s correlation but it’s pretty strong proof against religion.


SamLouis

What a load of bull manure. Your “pretty strong proof against religion” comment is nothing more than a display of prejudice.


Those with little material possessions and plenty of time on their hands often find their way to God. Stripped-down lives bereft of hope often bring the hardest of the hard to the Lord.


Those driven by materialism (including those with advanced degrees in science) have little interest in grace. Instead they make foolish comments like your own.


Take your prejudices elsewhere.


mbbizpro

Site the source for your “statistic.”


the guy paso

Said the atheist.