DJJ Regulations

Proposed Text of Regulation

Proposed Regulation

DEPARTMENT OF THE YOUTH AUTHORITY

Title 15, California Code of Regulations,

Division 4, Chapter 3, Subchapter 3,Article 2

Religious Services to Wards

Adopt Section 4750, 4750.1; Amend Section 4751

§ 4750. Religious Services to WardsDefinitions.

(a) The Department recognizes the inherent right of individuals to exercise their Constitutional rights to hold religious convictions and practice religion. All wards shall be afforded the reasonable opportunity to participate in religious services and programs as provided in these regulations. Exercise of religious freedom without discrimination or preference is guaranteed unless such is inconsistent with the safety and/or security of the facility or promotes violence or illegal acts.

(b) Religious services are regularly scheduled weekly gatherings of a religious faith group such as Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Native American, and Judaism.

(c) Alternate religious services are sessions provided to individual ward(s) who are restricted from attending, or otherwise unable to attend (i.e., medical reasons), regularly scheduled weekly gatherings of a religious faith group. Alternate religious services are also considered religious services.

(d) Religious programs are regularly scheduled religious ancillary activities for various faith groups, such as bible study groups, catechism, and choir rehearsal.

(e) Special religious activities are activities other than regularly scheduled religious services and programs such as epiphany, baptisms and religious retreats.

(f) Faith group leaders are defined as people in good standing with their faith group who are authorized to provide leadership to the designated faith group.

(g) Religious volunteers are members of the community who represent various religious faith groups.

NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 1002, 1004, 1712, and 1752, Welfare and Institutions Code. Reference: Sections 1004, 1705, and 1752, Welfare and Institutions Code; Section 4, Article I, California Constitution; and Bill of Rights, Amendment I, United States Constitution.

§ 4750.1. Religious Services to Wards.

(a) Exercise of religious freedom without discrimination, harassment, or preference is guaranteed unless such is inconsistent with the safety and/or security of the facility or promotes violence or illegal acts. The Department shall ensure all wards are afforded the reasonable opportunity to participate in religious services and programs.

(b) If religious services of a ward's faith are not available in the facility, the chaplains shall make a good faith effort to facilitate services or counseling with a faith group leader or volunteer representative of the ward's faith.

(c) The facility superintendent shall provide all wards access to religious services and/or alternate religious services at least once a week.

(1) Each ward shall have the opportunity to attend one religious service per week of his or her choice.

(2) Wards may only be restricted from attending religious services for the following reasons:

(A) Ward is on Temporary Detention.

(B) Ward is assigned to a Special Management Program.

(C) Ward is on Administrative Lockdown.

(D) Staff, with a manager's approval, determine that the ward or group of wards presents a safety and/or security risk to a religious service.

(3) Wards restricted or otherwise unable to attend a religious service shall be provided access to a chaplain/faith group leader for alternate religious services.

(4) If there is a limit to the number of wards who can attend a religious service due to lack of room capacity or for security reasons, priority shall be given to wards of the designated faith group; however, additional or alternate services shall be held to accommodate all wards who requested to attend.

(d) Each ward shall have the opportunity to explore other faith groups by attending religious programs of any religious faith group, regardless of his/her designated religious faith group.

(e) A ward may be restricted from attending religious programs for the following reasons:

(1) Ward is on Temporary Detention.

(2) Ward is assigned to a Special Management Program.

(3) Ward is on Administrative Lockdown.

(4) Staff, with a manager's approval, determine that the ward or group of wards presents a safety and/or security risk to a religious program.

(f) A ward may also be restricted from attending a religious program for the following reasons; however, whenever practical, a reasonable good faith attempt should be made to schedule the below events to not conflict with religious programs:

(1) Serving Disciplinary Decision-Making System (DDMS) room restrictions.

(2) Attending mandated treatment groups.

(3) Attending Case Conference.

(4) Attending Institutional Classification Committee hearings.

(5) Attending Youth Authority Board hearings.

(6) Conflict with assigned school classes.

(g) Restriction of wards from religious programs will not be based on poor program performance on the living unit, academic areas, or because of status or phase in a program.

(h) The Department shall allow wards to exercise their Constitutional religious rights and to express their religious tenets and personal religious convictions through:

(1) The observance of religious holy days

(2) Grooming

(3) Personal Property

(A) Wards may wear one cross, or one medallion or one medicine bag at all times underneath his/her garment. Wards who wish to wear or carry other artifacts will only be allowed to do so when going to or from religious services and programs.

(B) All religious artifacts/materials shall be subject to search by staff.

(C) Wards who choose to wear a medicine bag must adhere to the following security guidelines:

1. Medicine bags shall not be sewn closed in order to facilitate searches.

2. Searches of medicine bags shall be accomplished by having the ward turn the bag inside out in the presence of staff and pouring the contents into his/her hands.

(4) Literature

(5) Diet

(6) Rights set forth in subdivision (h)(1) through (5) above are subject to limitations if inconsistent with the safety and/or security of the facility or promotes violence or illegal acts.

(A) Any ward that requests a religious diet shall be responsible for informing the facility chaplain (or religious representative of his/her faith) in writing.

(B) Each facility shall make reasonable efforts to accommodate those wards that require religious diets.

(C) Religious diets shall be nutritionally adequate when certain foods are excluded by a ward because of his/her religious dietary restrictions.

(D) A ward must remain on a religious diet for a minimum of 30 days due to administrative and purchasing constraints.

(i) The Department shall restrict the following religious practices and activities:

(1) Activities that advocate racial purity or violence or illegal activities as a means of achieving that goal.

(2) Animal sacrifice

(3) Consumption of blood

(4) Consumption of alcohol

(5) Encryption/coding

(6) Ingestion of illegal substances

(7) Nudity

(8) Paramilitary exercises

(9) Profanity

(10) Racially inflammatory activities that are reasonably likely to cause violence at the facility

(11) Self defense training

(12) Self-mutilation

(13) Sexual acts

(14) Use or display of weapons

(15) Possession of any incinerary devices, i.e. matches, fuel

(16) Any act or practice that is inconsistent with the safety and/or security of the facility or promotes violence or illegal acts.

(j) When placing a restriction on a ward's religious exercise, the department shall document what alternative accommodations were considered. In addition the ward's preferred option shall be allowed when not inconsistent with the safety and security of the facility.

(k) Chaplains, religious leaders, religious volunteers, staff, members of the community or wards may not proselytize (i.e., initiate unsolicited, unwanted, or forceful attempts to persuade another individual to convert from one religious belief to another).

NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 1002, 1004, 1712, and 1752, Welfare and Institutions Code. Reference: Sections 1004, 1705, and 1752, Welfare and Institutions Code; Section 4, Article I, California Constitution; and Bill of Rights, Amendment I, United States Constitution.

§ 4751. Chaplain/Ward Communication.

(a) A Chaplain may hold in confidence any information concerning a ward in his care which would be against the ethics of his profession tenets of his religion to divulge, except if the ward divulges or wishes to divulge information that bears on concerns thehis safety of the ward, the safety of others, or the institutionfacility 's security, the chaplain shall:

(a) (Reserved)

(b) (1) Encourage the ward to discuss such information with the appropriate staff, and,

(c) (2) Obtain the ward's permission, if possible, to pass on such information.

(3) Notify the Superintendent immediately of any information that impacts the safety and/or security of an individual ward or of the facility, if to do so will not violate the Chaplain's religious tenets (such as sacramental confession or other penitential communication that the Chaplain is required to keep secret under the rules of his/her religious organization).

NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 1002, 1004, 1712, and 1752, Welfare and Institutions Code. Reference: Sections 1004, 1705, and 1752, Welfare and Institutions Code.