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NCJ Number: 47692 Find in a Library
Title: MUSLIMS ARE NO LONGER AN UNKNOWN QUANTITY
Journal: CORRECTIONS MAGAZINE  Volume:4  Issue:2  Dated:(JUNE 1978)  Pages:55-57,60-63
Author(s): K BUTLER
Corporate Author: Criminal Justice Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: Criminal Justice Publications, Inc
New York, NY 10017
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE SCOPE AND EFFECT OF COURT-MANDATED TOLERANCE OF BLACK MUSLIM WORSHIP AND LIFESTYLE BY CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES NATIONWIDE ARE DETAILED.
Abstract: THIS ARTICLE UNDERTAKES AN EXAMINATION OF THE GROWTH OF BLACK MUSLIM INMATE POPULATION AND OF THEIR ROLE WITHIN THE CORRECTIONAL ENVIRONMENT. MUSLIM INVOLVEMENT IN PRISONS TRACED FROM MAY OF 1942 WHEN ELIJAH MUHAMMAD, THE LEADER OF THE NATION OF ISLAM, WAS JAILED, THROUGH AND INTO THE 1970'S. BECAUSE OF THEIR MILITANCE AND RELATIVE ALOOFNESS, THE MUSLIMS WERE FEARED BY CORRECTIONS OFFICIALS IN THE EARLY STAGES OF THE MOVEMENT. THEY WERE OFTEN SUBJECT TO UNUSUALLY HARSH TREATMENT, WERE DENIED THE RIGHT TO OPENLY PRACTICE THEIR RELIGION, AND WERE REFUSED SPECIAL DIET CONSIDERATIONS PRESCRIBED BY THE THEIR FAITH. MUSLIM MINISTERS WERE DENIED THE SAME ACCESS TO PRISONERS AFFORDED MINISTERS OF OTHER RELIGIONS. THE SITUATION CAME TO A HEAD IN 1959 WHEN THE SUPERINTENDENT OF THE WASHINGTON, D.C., MAIN PRISON LOCKED 38 MUSLIM INMATES IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT FOR 90 DAYS. THE MUSLIMS SUED, AND THE U.S. SUPREME COURT RULED THAT THE MUSLIMS HAD A RIGHT TO PRACTICE THEIR RELIGION. THE MUSLIMS SINCE HAVE FREQUENTLY RESORTED TO THE COURT SYSTEM TO GAIN SPECIAL DISPENSATIONS FROM PRISON OFFICIALS AROUND THE COUNTRY. THE EFFECT OF THESE JUDICIAL BREAKTHROUGHS ON MUSLIM INMATE LIFE IS EXAMINED; THE PROGRAMS, POLICIES, AND REFORMS UNDERTAKEN IN CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND AT ATTICA (N.Y.), GRATERFORD (PA), AND TRENTON STATE (N.J.) PRISONS ARE DISCUSSED. THE EFFECTS ON INMATE MORALE, DISCIPLINE, AND REHABILITATION ARE ASSESSED. AN INTERVIEW WITH A MEMBER OF THE MUSLIM LEADERSHIP AT GRATERFORD, A STATE PRISON LOCATED OUTSIDE OF PHILADELPHIA, IS INCLUDED. PHOTOS OF THE INMATE-CONSTRUCTED WORSHIP FACILITY AT GRATERFORD ARE PROVIDED. (KBL)
Index Term(s): Corrections management; Inmate grievances; Inmates; Judicial decisions; Reform; Religious freedom
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