skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 219643 Find in a Library
Title: Harmony Behind Bars
Journal: The Prison Journal  Volume:87  Issue:2  Dated:June 2007  Pages:195-210
Author(s): Mark A. Vezzola
Date Published: June 2007
Page Count: 16
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: As courts examine which ceremonies and practices are permissible for Native Americans to practice behind bars, this article assesses the health of Native American spirituality in prison and reports its well-being in various jurisdictions.
Abstract: The constant tug-of-war between Congress and the Supreme Court has left the religious rights of Native American prisoners unresolved in 2004. The denial of sweat lodges and medicine bundles for Native Americans continues to garner attention, however, because of the blatancy and frequency with which such denials occur today. More must be done for Native Americans and all other incarcerated people who struggle to maintain or search for faith until the denial of religious rights is completely eradicated within the penal system. Religion plays a special role in many people’s lives. This is particularly true for Native Americans, whose religion embodies their daily lives. When they are denied the right to practice their religion, the harmony in the world is lost, yet religious needs do not always fit neatly within prison regulations. However, the constitutional rights of prisoners to practice their religion behind bars are guaranteed under the Constitution. Courts have applied various tests to balance these interests with the security concerns of individual prisons. Notes, references
Main Term(s): Inmate religious affiliation
Index Term(s): American Indians; Americans; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Religion; Religious freedom; Religious programs
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.