Atheist Inmate Wins Settlement Over Religious Drug Treatment Program

<img class="alignright size-full wp-image-860" src=" check these guys out.jpg” alt=”hazel1016″ width=”200″ height=”133″ />Former prisoner and drug user Barry Hazle has won a 1.95 million dollar settlement from the state of California and its contractor, WestCare California, for wrongful incarceration in violation of his religious liberty.

On parole after serving a one year drug sentence, Hazle was ordered into a treatment facility for 90 days. A lifelong atheist, Hazle requested a non-religious treatment program, but was placed in a 12 step program that required him to put his recovery in the hands of a higher power he didn’t believe in.

After refusing to participate in the program that went against his beliefs, Hazel was sent back to prison for 100 days. Two federal court decisions later, Hazel is relieved, not for the monetary judgement, but because he hopes “that somebody else doesn’t have to go through this kind of thing.”

Read Hazel’s full story at sfgate.comarrow1