Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bibles behind bars banned (not entirely)

B.C. prisoners discouraged from Bogarting their religious texts
Not prison-approved for Bible study

The Vancouver Sun obtained government data showing that B.C. prison guards have confiscated almost as many Bibles as pornographic magazines from prisoners.

Between January 2008 and October 2010, officials confiscated seven Bibles from federal prison inmates in B.C. - as well as loose pages - while 10 pornographic magazines were confiscated.

However, this isn't part of a conspiracy to persecute Christians in prison.

Not only are federal prisoners allowed to have a religious text of their choice in their cell, they can usually get Bible for free from a prison chaplain. Indeed, confiscated Bibles were being used for completely non-religious purposes.

“They use the (Bible pages) to roll tobacco or marijuana...or hollow them out and store contraband in there,” said Terry Hackett, director of operations for Corrections in B.C. “Normally you’re allowed to have a Bible. But once you start using it for some other purpose, then that’s when [we] seize it.”

Holy Smoke!

Other items confiscated in the time period includes drugs, drug paraphernalia, alcohol, 30 cellphones, one kilogram of bacon, seven pounds of rice, a case of Fig Newton cookies, four pounds of raw chicken in a plastic bag, and two bags of fully cooked food including a turkey breast, stuffing, and cranberries.

Some of the strangest items seized include a Michelin snow tire, a “Nazi calendar,” two winning scratch-and-win tickets, a laser pointer, and a crab trap.

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