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Title 28 Part 548

Title 28 → Chapter V → Subchapter C → Part 548

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 28 Part 548

e-CFR data is current as of December 12, 2018

Title 28Chapter VSubchapter C → Part 548


Title 28: Judicial Administration


PART 548—RELIGIOUS PROGRAMS


Contents

Subpart B—Religious Beliefs and Practices of Committed Offenders

§548.10   Purpose and scope.
§548.11   Definition.
§548.12   Chaplains.
§548.13   Schedules and facilities.
§548.14   Community involvement (volunteers, contractors).
§548.15   Equity.
§548.16   Inmate religious property.
§548.17   Work assignments.
§548.18   Observance of religious holy days.
§548.19   Pastoral visits.
§548.20   Dietary practices.

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 18 U.S.C. 3621, 3622, 3624, 4001, 4042, 4081, 4082 (Repealed in part as to offenses committed on or after November 1, 1987), 5006-5024 (Repealed October 12, 1984 as to offenses committed after that date), 5039; 28 U.S.C. 509, 510; 42 U.S.C. 1996; 28 CFR 0.95-0.99.

Source: 44 FR 38251, June 29, 1979, unless otherwise noted.

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Subpart A [Reserved]

Subpart B—Religious Beliefs and Practices of Committed Offenders

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 18 U.S.C. 4001, 4042, 4081, 4082, 5006-5024, 5039; 28 U.S.C. 509, 510; 42 U.S.C. 1996; 28 CFR 0.95-0.99.

Source: 60 FR 46486, Sept. 6, 1995, unless otherwise noted.

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§548.10   Purpose and scope.

(a) The Bureau of Prisons provides inmates of all faith groups with reasonable and equitable opportunities to pursue religious beliefs and practices, within the constraints of budgetary limitations and consistent with the security and orderly running of the institution and the Bureau of Prisons.

(b) When considered necessary for the security or good order of the institution, the Warden may limit attendance at or discontinue a religious activity. Opportunities for religious activities are open to the entire inmate population, without regard to race, color, nationality, or ordinarily, creed. The Warden, after consulting with the institution chaplain, may limit participation in a particular religious activity or practice to the members of that religious group. Ordinarily, when the nature of the activity or practice (e.g., religious fasts, wearing of headwear, work proscription, ceremonial meals) indicates a need for such a limitation, only those inmates whose files reflect the pertinent religious preference will be included.

(c) The Bureau of Prisons does not require an inmate to profess a religious belief. An inmate may designate any or no religious preference at his/her initial team screening. By notifying the chaplain in writing, an inmate may request to change this designation at any time, and the change will be effected in a timely fashion.

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§548.11   Definition.

For purposes of this subpart, the term “religious activity” includes religious diets, services, ceremonies, and meetings.

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§548.12   Chaplains.

Institution chaplains are responsible for managing religious activities within the institution. Institution chaplains are available upon request to provide pastoral care and counseling to inmates through group programs and individual services. Pastoral care and counseling from representatives in the community are available in accordance with the provisions of §§548.14 and 548.19. The chaplain may ask the requesting inmate to provide information regarding specific requested religious activities for the purpose of making an informed decision regarding the request.

[62 FR 44836, Aug. 22, 1997]

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§548.13   Schedules and facilities.

(a) Under the general supervision of the Warden, chaplains shall schedule and direct the institution's religious activities.

(b) The Warden may relieve an inmate from an institution program or assignment if a religious activity is also scheduled at that time.

(c) Institutions shall have space designated for the conduct of religious activities.

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§548.14   Community involvement (volunteers, contractors).

(a) The institution's chaplain may contract with representatives of faith groups in the community to provide specific religious services which the chaplain cannot personally deliver due to, ordinarily, religious prescriptions or ecclesiastical constraints to which the chaplain adheres.

(b) The institution's chaplain may secure the services of volunteers to assist inmates in observing their religious beliefs.

(c) The Warden or the Warden's designee (ordinarily the chaplain) may require a recognized representative of the faith group to verify a volunteer's or contractor's religious credentials prior to approving his or her entry into the institution.

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§548.15   Equity.

No one may disparage the religious beliefs of an inmate, nor coerce or harass an inmate to change religious affiliation. Attendance at all religious activities is voluntary and, unless otherwise specifically determined by the Warden, open to all.

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§548.16   Inmate religious property.

(a) Inmate religious property includes but is not limited to rosaries and prayer beads, oils, prayer rugs, phylacteries, medicine pouches, and religious medallions. Such items, which become part of an inmate's personal property, are subject to normal considerations of safety and security. If necessary, their religious significance shall be verified by the chaplain prior to the Warden's approval.

(b) An inmate ordinarily shall be allowed to wear or use personal religious items during religious services, ceremonies, and meetings in the chapel, unless the Warden determines that the wearing or use of such items would threaten institution security, safety, or good order. Upon request of the inmate, the Warden may allow the wearing or use of certain religious items throughout the institution, consistent with considerations of security, safety, or good order. The Warden may request the chaplain to obtain direction from representatives of the inmate's faith group or other appropriate sources concerning the religious significance of the items.

(c) An inmate who wishes to have religious books, magazines or periodicals must comply with the general rules of the institution regarding ordering, purchasing, retaining, and accumulating personal property. Religious literature is permitted in accordance with the procedures governing incoming publications. Distribution to inmates of religious literature purchased by or donated to the Bureau of Prisons is contingent upon the chaplain's granting his or her approval.

[60 FR 46486, Sept. 6, 1995, as amended at 62 FR 44836, Aug. 22, 1997]

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§548.17   Work assignments.

When the religious tenets of an inmate's faith are violated or jeopardized by a particular work assignment, a different work assignment ordinarily shall be made after it is requested in writing by the inmate, and the specific religious tenets have been verified by the chaplain. Maintaining security, safety, and good order in the institution are grounds for denial of such request for a different work assignment.

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§548.18   Observance of religious holy days.

Consistent with maintaining security, safety, and good order in the institution, the Warden shall endeavor to facilitate the observance of important religious holy days which involve special fasts, dietary regulations, worship, or work proscription. The inmate must submit a written request to the chaplain for time off from work to observe a religious holy day. The Warden may request the chaplain to consult with community representatives of the inmate's faith group and/or other appropriate sources to verify the religious significance of the requested observance. The chaplain will work with requesting inmates to accommodate a proper observance of the holy day. The Warden will ordinarily allow an inmate to take earned vacation days, or to make up for missed work, or to change work assignments in order to facilitate the observance of the religious holy day.

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§548.19   Pastoral visits.

If requested by an inmate, the chaplain shall facilitate arrangements for pastoral visits by a clergyperson or representative of the inmate's faith.

(a) The chaplain may request an NCIC check and documentation of such clergyperson's or faith group representative's credentials.

(b) Pastoral visits may not be counted as social visits. They will ordinarily take place in the visiting room during regular visiting hours.

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§548.20   Dietary practices.

(a) The Bureau provides inmates requesting a religious diet reasonable and equitable opportunity to observe their religious dietary practice within the constraints of budget limitations and the security and orderly running of the institution and the Bureau through a religious diet menu. The inmate will provide a written statement articulating the religious motivation for participation in the religious diet program.

(b) An inmate who has been approved for a religious diet menu must notify the chaplain in writing if the inmate wishes to withdraw from the religious diet. Approval for an inmate's religious diet may be withdrawn by the chaplain if the inmate is documented as being in violation of the terms of the religious diet program to which the inmate has agreed in writing. In order to preserve the integrity and orderly operation of the religious diet program and to prevent fraud, inmates who withdraw (or are removed) may not be immediately reestablished back into the program. The process of reapproving a religious diet for an inmate who voluntarily withdraws or who is removed ordinarily may extend up to thirty days. Repeated withdrawals (voluntary or otherwise), however, may result in inmates being subjected to a waiting period of up to one year.

(c) The chaplain may arrange for inmate religious groups to have one appropriate ceremonial or commemorative meal each year for their members as identified by the religious preference reflected in the inmate's file. An inmate may attend one religious ceremonial meal in a calendar year.

[60 FR 46486, Sept. 6, 1995, as amended at 62 FR 44836, Aug. 22, 1997; 68 FR 74860, Dec. 29, 2003]

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