California to pay atheist parolee $1.95 million

AP News
Posted: Oct 15, 2014 12:36 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The California government will pay $1.95 million to an atheist and former parolee who went back to prison after refusing to participate in a religiously tinged inpatient treatment program.

The Record Searchlight reports ( ) Barry Hazle Jr. of Redding and his attorney announced the settlement Tuesday in San Francisco.

A federal court ruled last year that forced participation in a religious program had violated Hazle's constitutional rights.

The 46-year-old Hazle served a year in prison on a drug charge and after being released in 2007 was ordered to take part in a rehab program.

His parole agent arrested him on parole violation after he refused to participate in the program. After serving three more months, Hazle sued the state corrections department.


Information from the Record Searchlight,