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The Oregon Administrative Rules contain OARs filed through July 15, 2014
 
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DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

 

DIVISION 143

RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES (INMATE)

 

291-143-0005

Authority, Purpose, and Policy

(1) Authority: The authority for this rule is granted to the Director of the Department of Corrections in accordance with ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030 and 423.075.

(2) Purpose: To establish Department policy and procedures regarding inmate religious exercise and activities, and religious programming in Department of Corrections facilities.

(3) Policy: Within the inherent limitations of resources and the need for facility security, safety, health and order, the Department intends to:

(a) Offer inmates incarcerated in Department of Corrections facilities the opportunity to practice their religion;

(b) Provide for the orderly management of inmate religious activities through supervision by chaplains and other Department staff, and the assistance of approved religious volunteers;

(c) Seek methods to encourage and foster understanding and respect for the diversity of religious beliefs and practices of Department of Corrections inmates and staff; and

(d) Ensure that Departmental practices with regard to religious programming are consistent with relevant provisions of the state and federal constitutions, statutes and regulations.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 179.040, ORS 423.020, ORS 423.030 & ORS 423.075
Stats. Implemented: ORS 179.040, ORS 423.020, ORS 423.030 & ORS 423.075
Hist.: CD 28-1978, f. 9-13-78, ef. 9-15-78; CD 19-1981(Temp), f. & ef. 6-30-81; CD 47-1981, f. & ef. 10-30-81; CD 20-1985, f. & ef. 8-2-85; CD 2-1987, f. & ef. 1-5-87; CD 19-1992, f. 8-12-92, cert. ef. 8-20-92; CD 17-1995, f. 8-30-95, cert. ef. 9-11-95

291-143-0010

Definitions

(1) Administrator of Religious Services: The chaplain assigned responsibility for administering religious programming and services for the Department of Corrections.

(2) Chaplain: A person employed full time or contracted by the Department of Corrections to provide religious programming and services to inmates in Department of Corrections facilities.

(3) Department of Corrections Facility: Any institution, facility or staff office, including the grounds, operated by the Department of Corrections.

(4) Functional Unit Manager: Any person within the Department of Corrections who reports to the Director, Deputy Director, an Assistant Director or administrator and has responsibility for delivery of program services or coordination of program operations.

(5) Inmate: Any person under the supervision of the Department of Corrections who is not on parole, post-prison supervision or probation status.

(6) Religious Activity: Any rite, ceremony, event or program that is customarily associated with the practices of a religion, including but not limited to, corporate gatherings of adherents of a religion for purposes of worship, prayer, mediation, teaching or sharing.

(7) Religious Representative: A member of the clergy, medicine person, Imam, Rabbi, spiritual advisor, or other person qualified to provide authoritative information to the Department of Corrections regarding their religion. For purposes of this rule, a religious representative shall not be an inmate or on probation, parole or post-prison supervision, or otherwise disqualified from acting as a volunteer in a Department of Corrections facility under Department rules and policies.

(8) Religious Volunteer: A member of the clergy, medicine person, Imam, Rabbi, spiritual advisor, or other religious authority qualified to direct, lead or conduct others in the rites, ceremonies or other practices of a religion who has been approved by the Department of Corrections to assist inmates in requested religious activities in Department of Corrections facilities. Before acting as a religious volunteer to inmates in a Department of Corrections facility, the volunteer shall have received:

(a) Appropriate training in accordance with the Department's rule on Volunteers/Student Interns (OAR 291-015); and

(b) A Department of Corrections identification card in accordance with the Department's policy on Identification Cards, #20.5.15.

(9) Special Housing: Housing for an inmate whose assignment is administrative segregation, disciplinary segregation, Special Management Unit, Intensive Management Unit, infirmary or Death Row.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030, 423.075
Stats. Implemented: ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030 & 423.075
Hist.: CD 28-1978, f. 9-13-78, ef. 9-15-78; CD 19-1981(Temp), f. & ef. 6-30-81; CD 47-1981, f. & ef. 10-30-81; CD 20-1985, f. & ef. 8-2-85; CD 2-1987, f. & ef. 1-5-87; CD 19-1992, f. 8-12-92, cert. ef. 8-20-92; CD 17-1995, f. 8-30-95, cert. ef. 9-11-95; DOC 14-2006(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 12-18-06 thru 6-15-07; Administrative Correction, 6-16-07; DOC 6-2007, f. & cert. ef. 8-17-07 7

Procedures

291-143-0070

Chaplains/Religious Volunteers

(1) A chaplain or designee in each Department of Corrections facility shall be responsible for coordination, facilitation and supervision of inmate religious activities.

(2) Chaplains/designees shall attend to the religious/spiritual requests of each inmate, regardless of the inmate's religious belief or affiliation.

(3) When a chaplain or designee is not qualified according to the tenets of a particular religion to conduct an approved religious activity requested by an inmate, the chaplain or designee will, with the assistance of the Administrator of Religious Services or others as needed, seek out and invite a qualified individual from the community to conduct the religious activity as a religious volunteer.

(4) Inmates incarcerated in Department of Corrections facilities shall not be permitted to direct, lead or conduct other inmates in religious activities. If neither the chaplain or designee, nor a qualified religious volunteer, are available to conduct an approved religious activity requested by an inmate, the inmate's request will be denied until such time as a qualified religious volunteer becomes available to do so.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 179.040, ORS 423.020, ORS 423.030 & ORS 423.075
Stats. Implemented: ORS 179.040, ORS 423.020, ORS 423.030 & ORS 423.075
Hist.: CD 17-1995, f. 8-30-95, cert. ef. 9-11-95

291-143-0080

Religious Activities

(1) Inmates should have the opportunity for reasonable access to religious activities which include, but are not limited to, the following:

(a) Regular religious services and ceremonies;

(b) Special ceremonies, holiday services, and/or sacraments;

(c) Individual and group pastoral counseling (in native language where possible);

(d) Inmate religious/spiritual group meetings; and

(e) Religious moral instruction.

(2) Dietary accommodations will be made within the context of the Food Services cyclical menu to satisfy requirements of an inmate's religion.

(3) An inmate whose religious expression includes odor or smoking producing substances (e.g., tobacco, sage, sweet grass, and incense) may be authorized to burn small amounts of these substances as part of an approved religious activity and in a manner consistent with facility security, safety, health and order.

(4) Inmates Assigned to Special Housing: An inmate assigned to special housing may be authorized to participate in an approved religious activity and in a manner consistent with facility security, safety, health and order. An inmate assigned to special housing shall not be permitted to participate in group religious activities with other inmates.

(5) Visual Expression:

(a) An inmate may be authorized to visibly express his/her religious customs and beliefs in appropriate ways consistent with facility security, safety, health and order, including:

(A) Participating in individual and group religious activities;

(B) Observing religious requirements relating to head and/or facial hair consistent with the Department's rule on Hygiene and Grooming (Inmate); and

(C) Wearing or carrying a religious emblem, medal, medallion or other religious item (e.g., medicine pouch, religious medal, rosary, prayer feather).

(b) Inmates Assigned to Special Housing: An inmate assigned to special housing, except Administrative Segregation and Death Row, shall not be permitted to wear a religious emblem, medal, medallion or other religious item around his/her neck, but may possess such in his/her special housing cell.

(6) Each Department of Corrections facility will post a current schedule of religious activities available in the facility. The schedule will be posted in designated religious activities area(s) and other appropriate areas readily accessible to inmates.

(7) Inmate Requests to Participate in Religious Activity:

(a) Religious Activity Currently Available in the Facility: An inmate desiring to participate in a religious activity that is currently available in the facility where he/she is confined may obtain information on the scheduled activity, and how to participate in it, by submitting his/her request to the facility chaplain or designee using an Inmate Communication form (CD 214) ("kite").

(b) Religious Activity Not Current Available in the Facility: An inmate desiring to participate in a religious activity not currently available in the facility where he/she is confined may request to do so by submitting to the facility chaplain or designee a completed Inmate Communication form (CD 214) ("kite") with the following information:

(A) The name of the religion;

(B) The title of religious activity requested;

(C) A brief description of the religious activity including:

(i) The significance of the activity in the practice of the religion;

(ii) How often or under what circumstances the religious activity would be held if it were taking place within the community;

(iii) Minimum time and any physical requirements within which the religious activity may take place, including those of any defined segments of the activity;

(iv) Any materials which are required for the religious activity and their purpose or use, including a list of any items associated with the religious activity which the inmate would retain in his/her personal possession, if any; and

(v) The title (if any), function, and eligibility requirements for participants in the activity.

(c) Any additional information necessary to an understanding of the nature or function of the religious activity; and

(d) The name, address and phone number of a recognized religious representative of the religion who can authoritatively verify the above information.

[ED. NOTE: The form(s) referenced in this rule is not printed in the OAR Compilation. Copies are available from the agency.]

Stat. Auth.: ORS 179.040, ORS 423.020, ORS 423.030 & ORS 423.075
Stats. Implemented: ORS 179.040, ORS 423.020, ORS 423.030 & ORS 423.075
Hist.: CD 17-1995, f. 8-30-95, cert. ef. 9-11-95; CD 3-1997(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-12-97; CD 15-1997, f. & cert. ef. 9-4-97

291-143-0090

Religious Activity Areas

(1) Religious Activity Areas: The functional unit manager of each facility shall designate an area or areas appropriate the conduct of approved religious activities.

(2) Access to Religious Activity Areas: The use of religious activities areas within the facility will be scheduled by the chaplain or designee. In scheduling designated religious activities areas, the chaplain or designee will seek to accommodate individual religious beliefs, including those that call for particular times, and calendar or lunar dates.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 179.040, ORS 423.020, ORS 423.030 & ORS 423.075
Stats. Implemented: ORS 179.040, ORS 423.020, ORS 423.030 & ORS 423.075
Hist.: CD 17-1995, f. 8-30-95, cert. ef. 9-11-95

 

291-143-0100

Provisions of Religious Items for Conduct of Religious Activities

Items required for the conduct of a religious activity may be purchased and supplied by the Department of Corrections, or donated by a religious representative, religious volunteer or other approved source at the discretion of the Department. Items must be approved by the chaplain and are subject to search. Items not approved shall be considered contraband and subject to confiscation.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 179.040, ORS 423.020, ORS 423.030 & ORS 423.075
Stats. Implemented: ORS 179.040, ORS 423.020, ORS 423.030 & ORS 423.075
Hist.: CD 17-1995, f. 8-30-95, cert. ef. 9-11-95

 

291-143-0110

Inmate Religious Items

(1) Approved religious emblems, medallions, symbols or other items authorized for inmates to possess in a Department of Corrections facility shall be purchased from the facility canteen. Specific approved religious items not available for purchase from the canteen (e.g., medicine bag, eagle feather) may be provided by a religious representative or religious volunteer with approval of the facility chaplain or designee.

(2) Inmates may obtain religious reading and study materials (including correspondence courses through the mail in accordance with the Department's rule on Mail (Inmate).

(3) As space allows, reasonable, accessible, secure and separate storage space for group religious objects/symbols will be maintained or provided upon request.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 179.040, ORS 423.023, ORS 423.030 & ORS 423.075
Stats. Implemented: ORS 179.040, ORS 423.020, ORS 423.030 & ORS 423.075
Hist.: CD 17-1995, f. 8-30-95, cert. ef. 9-11-95

 

291-143-0120

Searches of Religious Activity Areas/Religious Items

All designated religious activity areas and religious items shall be subject to search conducted in accordance with the Department's rule on Searches (Institutions), and in a manner that reflects an awareness of and sensitivity to individual religious beliefs, practices, and respect for the objects/symbols used in the religious practice.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 179.040, ORS 423.020, ORS 423.030 & ORS 423.075
Stats. Implemented: ORS 179.040, ORS 423.020, ORS 423.030 & ORS 423.075
Hist.: CD 17-1995, f. 8-30-95, cert. ef. 9-11-95

291-143-0130

Restriction of Religious Activity/Items

(1) An inmate's participation in approved religious activities and possession of approved religious items may be restricted by the Department of Corrections when deemed necessary to maintain facility security, safety, health and order, or to further inmate rehabilitation or other penological interest, consistent with applicable legal standards.

(2) If, in the opinion of the Department, denying or otherwise limiting an inmate's participation in approved religious activities or possession of approved religious items would substantially burden the inmate's religious exercise, the Department must use the least restrictive means necessary in the functional unit manager's or designee's judgment to protect facility concerns.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030 & 423.075
Stats. Implemented: ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030 & 423.075
Hist.: CD 17-1995, f. 8-30-95, cert. ef. 9-11-95; DOC 14-2006(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 12-18-06 thru 6-15-07; Administrative Correction, 6-16-07; DOC 6-2007, f. & cert. ef. 8-17-07

291-143-0140

Religious Exercise Dispute Resolution

(1) Issues of a religious nature (e.g., the significance of a requested religious item or activity to the practice of a particular religion, etc.) will be resolved by the facility chaplain or designee, in consultation with the Administrator of Religious Services, to ensure consistency of interpretation and application of Department policy and procedures regarding inmate religious exercise and religious programming, consistent with applicable legal standards.

(2) The Administrator of Religious Services will consult with appropriate religious representatives or other authorities as needed to clarify issues of religious doctrine and practice.

(3) The functional unit manager or designee shall determine whether the requested religious activity or item in question is consistent with the maintenance of facility security, safety, health or order, inmate rehabilitation or other penological interests, including budgetary or other administrative concerns.

(4) Whenever there is a conflict between a legitimate religious exercise request and a facility interest relating to security, safety, health or order, inmate rehabilitation or other penological interests, including budgetary and other administrative concerns, the matter will be resolved by the functional unit manager in consultation with the Assistant Director for Operations and Administrator of Religious Services, consistent with legal standards.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030 & 423.075
Stats. Implemented: ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030 & 423.075
Hist.: CD 17-1995, f. 8-30-95, cert. ef. 9-11-95; DOC 14-2006(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 12-18-06 thru 6-15-07; Administrative Correction, 6-16-07; DOC 6-2007, f. & cert. ef. 8-17-07

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