There’s a focus on religion for moral growth. Every prison has a chapel, religious services, free literature, special diets, events, and all sorts of special concessions for religion. Part of this is because of religious organizations volunteering their time and money, which is fine, and I wish secular groups would do more of that type of thing in prisons. But part of is built in to the bureaucracy, because, as always, the cliche that religion is necessary for morality is so common. Even here in Washington state, which isn’t exactly a bastion of conservative religious thought. Here’s a fun thought experiment: What would you think of an inmate going before the parole board and saying that he is an atheist, that he has rejected religious morality and has decided that his own mind is capable of determining the difference between right and wrong? Regardless of whether he was being brave or honest or standing up for a principle, he’d still have to be crazy.
Categories: Daniel Turner