CURE ILLINOIS We must stop religious discrimination by eliminating this form of identification on the badge in the Illinois Department of Corrections

October 20, 2014

The Honorable Patrick Quinn

Governor

The State of Illinois

 

An Inmate does not enter a prison gate destitute of all their constitutional rights.

— Jackson v. Hollowell, 714 F. 2d 1372, 1383 (5th Circuit, 1983). 

One of our most treasured founding principles was the separation of church and state. Yet in Illinois we violate this principal and First Amendment protection for over 49,000 people daily.

An incarcerated person, under the First Amendment has the right to freely observe their religion without a fear of being subjected to physical and emotional abuse.

This is not the case in the Illinois Department of Corrections. The practice of requiring a person to declare their religious preference when they become wards of the state is not supported by any law, nor does it appear in any administrative directive. It is basically an ‘unofficial’ requirement.

 An inmate’s religion is on the prisoners’ badge of all incarcerated persons in the Illinois Department of Corrections.  A prisoner, who does not declare their religion during the intake process, is listed as an atheist. A prisoner who wishes to investigate and attend a service of another religion will do so strictly at a guard’s discretion. The average age at incarceration is less than 22; most people are still deciding what religion they will observe during their lifetime. Inmates can change their minds about their beliefs, but it is virtually impossible to change religions on their identification badge and explore another faith.

Public Law 94-521 prohibits the Federal Government from requiring religion as a means of identification. The Federal Prison System and all states, except Illinois, ceased the practice of displaying an inmate’s faith on the identity badge that they are required to wear. The basis of this decision was that this practice is a violation of human rights, as well as the First Amendment to the Constitution.

The Illinois Department of Corrections is the sole hold out and this is strictly by administrative choice. No Illinois legislative documentation exists, mandating that an inmate be earmarked in this fashion. Anti-Semitic or religious targeting is a consequence of an inmate’s religion being prominently stated on their badge. The resulting emotional or physical harm to an inmate is less than tolerable.

Illinois Department of Corrections doctrine provides no valid reason or purpose for this vilification and the stigma it creates for an inmate. At best, justification is the Supreme Court announcing in Turner v. Safley. “The standard for legality of prison policies under the Constitution holds: “when a prison regulation impinges on an inmates’ constitutional rights, the regulation is valid if it is reasonably related to legitimate penal-logical interests. Courts are to consider four factors in determining whether this logical relationship exists:

                 A PETITION

 

Pg. 2

 

(1) whether there is a “valid, rational connection” between the prison regulation and the legitimate governmental objective proffered to justify it;

 (2) the availability of “other avenues” for exercising a protected right;

 (3) the impact that accommodating the right might have upon other prisoners, guards, or the distribution of prison resources,

 (4) whether there are “ready alternatives” to the policy.”

Declaring one’s religious affiliation is not necessary for prison safety. It is not on your driver license or a state id. The U.S. Census Bureau does not collect data on religious affiliation in its demographic surveys or decennial census. In fact, Public Law 94-521 prohibits us from asking any questions about someone’s religious affiliation on a mandatory basis; in any personal or household survey. Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, no person shall be compelled to disclose information relative to his religious beliefs or to membership in a religious body.”

Controversially, significant medical problems are not permitted or stated on an inmate’s badge in Illinois correctional facilities, even by prisoner request. The lack of identification of life-threatening medical conditions has caused epileptics, heart patients, diabetics and others to suffer unjustified punishment because they are ill.

There is no safety risk or adverse outcome to either a guard or another inmate that correlates with the cessation of this heinous practice. Instead it allows discrimination based on religion. It fosters segregation and incites interpersonal differences.  Therefore, eliminating this procedure would seem a prudent decision.

The “establishment of religion” clause of the First Amendment defines this: “Neither a state nor the federal government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect “a wall of separation between church and State.

We must stop religious discrimination by eliminating this form of identification.

Please stop this heinous practice immediately.

Criminalization of Asperger Syndrome and Mental Illness-To:Sam Hargadine-Police Chief Iowa City

 Mr. Hargadine:
 Your police department was instrumental in making sure Daniel S.  Jason received a 45 year sentence for emails and two voice messages.  Daniel did not come to Iowa and did not commit any violence.  I am  recommending your police department and others in the Iowa and Illinois states watch my interview on a cable show called Cooper’s Corner.  As in  the Ferguson police shooting, it is my opinion that the Department of Justice should conduct an investigation into your police department, the prosecutor’s office and the judicial system for cruel and unusual punishment towards people with Asperger Syndrome, mental illness and disabilities. This is the opinion of Joseph M. Jason and does not necessarily represent the opinion of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Joseph M. Jason, President NAMI(National Alliance on Mental Illness) BA
Chairman Criminal Justice Action Committee
(847)537-3009

Criminalization of Asperger Syndrome and Mental Illness on Cooper’s Corner

  • Joseph M Jason Joseph M. Jason-President of NAMI BA and Board Member of CURE Illinois and Member of Mental Health Summit and Board Member of Criminal Justice Advocacy for the Mentally Ill talks about Johnson County’s Criminalization of Asperger Syndrome relating to his son Daniel who received a sentence of 45 years for non-violent crimes. There is mention of meeting with Janet Lyness, the use of shock belts, and comparisons of the treatment of his son with that of the NAZIS and the mentally ill. All of this on a highly rated Cooper’s Corner cable television show. It will be used for advocacy in the entire country. A person from the Autism Society of America was quoted as saying this was one of the most egregious cases in the country.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KuZYUF9HvU&feature=youtu.be

This is not my America by Joseph M. Jason-Chairman Criminal Justice Action Committee, President NAMI BA, CURE ILLINOIS Board Member.

36f469b2bce089e8e8ee92ff50ab506bThis is not my America by Joseph M. Jason-Chairman Criminal Justice Action Committee, President NAMI BA, CURE ILLINOIS Board Member.

Daniel S. Jason got sentenced by Judge Paul Miller to 45 years in prison for having Asperger Syndrome.  The amazing thing is that he did not even step into Iowa.  All of his communications were from Illinois.  He ended up having a bench trial because otherwise he was going to have to wear a shock belt which can knock you unconscious and cause you to defecate.  Daniel has not been violent, but like many other people with Asperger Syndrome, he is a nuisance.  His ex-girlfriend is embarrassed she had a relationship with him.  Daniel does not think he did do anything wrong.  The Judge gave him an exceptionally hard sentence because he did know show remorse like most people with Autism. 

“This message is for Cynthia Courter.  My name is Fred Thomas.  I’ve been sending you emails (to an account that you do not use anymore) and would like you to respond back to me.  If you can’t respond back to me I really hope that I don’t have to send your office some really, I don’t know embarrassing information perhaps.  So if you can just write back to me and answer my questions that I’ve asked for you I’d really appreciate it.  Bye.”

“Yeah Cynthia Courter, you need to text message me or us email me or seething cause I’m really getting angry and I’m going to tell your employer all your dirty information, all your secrets and if you think you’re going to be really embarrassed you should respond back to me.  Bye.”

Where is NAMI?  Where is the Autism Society of America?  Where are the citizens of Iowa? 

Iowa has adopted a system that was started in NAZI Germany.  Wartime, Adolf Hitler suggested, “was the best time for the elimination of the incurably ill.” Many Germans did not want to be reminded of individuals who did not measure up to their concept of a “master race.” The physically and mentally handicapped were viewed as “useless” to society, a threat to Aryan genetic purity, and, ultimately, unworthy of life. At the beginning of World War II, individuals who were mentally retarded, physically handicapped, or mentally ill were targeted for murder in what the Nazis called the “T-4,” or “euthanasia,” program.

Iowa knows that people with Asperger Syndrome are prone to be bullied so giving Daniel a life sentence is equivalent to killing him.  I told Janet Lyness that in a meeting that she might as well shoot Daniel in the back alley with her proposed charges. 

I accuse prosecutor Janet Lyness, Judge Paul Miller and Police Chief Sam Hargadine for crimes against humanity.  They deserve a just sentence in the Iowa Department of Corrections. 

Do you want to know more?

I recently appears on a cable station on a show called Cooper’s Corner.  The link will be provided at a later date for additional information.

Read the petition also.

http://www.change.org/petitions/janet-lyness-county-attorney-johnson-county-daniel-s-jason-should-get-treatment-instead-of-incarceration-the-criminalization-of-asperger-syndrome-must-end

Criminal Justice Action Committee Compares Johnson County to NAZI’s T-4 Program

Release to Associated Press-Today August 4, 2014, the Chairman of the Criminal Justice Action Committee, Joseph M. Jason compared the sentencing of Daniel S. Jason to 45 years for non-violent crimes as a page out of the NAZI’s T-4 program or “euthanasia” program. “Daniel need treatment and not incarceration.” Mr. Jason stated that he wished that the trial has been televised. The Autism Society of America as well as many other groups has called this one of the most egregious cases ever seen involving a person with autism.

Wartime, Adolf Hitler suggested, “was the best time for the elimination of the incurably ill.” Many Germans did not want to be reminded of individuals who did not measure up to their concept of a “master race.” The physically and mentally handicapped were viewed as “useless” to society, a threat to Aryan genetic purity, and, ultimately, unworthy of life. At the beginning of World War II, individuals who were mentally retarded, physically handicapped, or mentally ill were targeted for murder in what the Nazis called the “T-4,” or “euthanasia,” program.

The “euthanasia” program required the cooperation of many German doctors, who reviewed the medical files of patients in institutions to determine which handicapped or mentally ill individuals should be killed. The doctors also supervised the actual killings. Doomed patients were transferred to six institutions in Germany and Austria, where they were killed in specially constructed gas chambers. Handicapped infants and small children were also killed by injection with a deadly dose of drugs or by starvation. The bodies of the victims were burned in large ovens called crematoria.

 

45 years for not even seeing a “victim”-Judge Miller of Iowa makes a name in history

The Judge, the Prosecutor and the Police chief just don’t care about mental illness and they don’t care about Asperger Syndrome. For a judge to give my son consecutive sentences instead of concurrent is no different than a a NAZI during WWII just following orders. The same for the prosecutor and the police chief. If it were in my power, I would put Judge Miller, Prosecutors Janet Lyness, Beth Beglin and Police Chief Hargadine in prison for a year to learn about the difference between non-violent offenders and real criminals. This is the only way they could get an education about organic brain disorders.They totally ignored an expert in the field Doctor Mark Mills and his assessment. They expect a person with Asperger Syndrome to show remorse. They think you can control your behavior when you have an organic brain disorder. As g-d is my witness and as long as I breathe, the tale of the story of Daniel S. Jason in Johnson county, Iowa will be told. I swear on the graves of my beloved departed parents. I will continue to advocate against mass incarceration. I will continue to advocate for treatment instead of incarceration. There is fire in my belly and I will channel it in a constructive way. I have purpose in my life. I have already met with Congressman Brad Schneider and more will follow.

To the so called victim-A higher power will also hold you accountable for creating the state that my son is in with your replacement babies. I know the truth.