Upon the recommendation of a probation officer,
Judge Robert Ransom sentenced Hanas to the state-sponsored
rehabilitation program - the Inner City Christian Outreach Residential
Program, run by a Pentecostal church.
Hanas said the program did not offer drug treatment or counseling,
nor did it have any organized program other than reading the Bible and
attending Pentecostal services.
He said his rosary and prayer book was taken from him and his
religion was denounced as witchcraft. Hanas said he was told his only
chance of avoiding prison and a felony record was to convert to the
After seven weeks, his mother and lawyers for the American Civil
Liberties Union in Flint succeeded in getting Hanas back to court.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit, claims Ransom
acknowledged the failings of the center but ruled that Hanas did not
satisfactorily complete the program and sentenced him to three months in
jail, three months in a boot camp, and placed him on a tether for three
months. Ransom also placed Hanas on four years probation, which he
continues to serve.
This man was punished for insisting on the right to practice
Catholicism and refusing conversion to the Pentecostal faith, said Kary
Moss, director of the Michigan ACLU.
The pastor who operates the center, Rev. Richard Rottiers could not
be reached for comment.
Ransom has retired. Before leaving the bench he said he would not
send any more prisoners to the Inner City center, citing a lack of
Complete Title: ACLU Sues Over Faith-Based Rehab: Catholic Man Forced
into Pentecostal Program
Source: Detroit News (MI)
Author: Norman Sinclair, The Detroit News
Published: Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Copyright: 2005 The Detroit News
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