Piety or Prison No More: Atheist Jailed for Refusal to Enter Faith-Based Drug Rehab Program Receives Large Settlement
An atheist who once spent 100 days in prison because he refused to enter a religion-based rehab program has been awarded a sizable settlement for his unjust treatment.
Back in 2007, Californian Barry Hazle was busted for possession of methamphetamine and sentenced to one year in jail. Hazle was paroled, but to stay out of jail he had to enter a treatment program. That’s where Hazle, described in media reports as a lifelong atheist, ran into trouble.
Hazle was ordered to attend a program run by Fresno-based WestCare California, Inc. On its website, the WestCare Foundation describes itself as “a family of tax-exempt nonprofit organizations” that offers “a wide spectrum of health and human services in both residential and outpatient environments.” Those services include “substance abuse and addiction treatment, homeless and runaway shelters, domestic violence treatment and prevention, and mental health programs.”