Inmate wins appeal of NJ ban on prison preaching

AP News
Posted: Nov 30, 2009 12:54 PM

A New Jersey prisoner has won a settlement that allows him to preach at services inside the prison.

Howard Thompson Jr. is an inmate at the New Jersey State Prison and an ordained Pentecostal minister. He had been conducting weekly worship services until prison officials issued a 2007 ban on inmate preaching.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit on his behalf seeking to lift the ban on the grounds it restricted his religious freedom.

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The settlement applies only to Thompson. The 45-year-old is serving a sentence of 30 years to life for felony murder and robbery.