AP NEWS

Montana agency finds religious discrimination against inmate

April 18, 2019

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A state agency has determined that the Montana Women’s Prison discriminated against an inmate on the basis of religion.

The Billings Gazette reports that the Montana Human Rights Bureau found in February there was “reasonable cause” to believe there was discrimination against Mayson Simmons.

Simmons’ complaint filed in August says the Department of Corrections and the prison in Billings violated the law by allowing inmates of other religious faiths to use a prison chapel for services while denying access to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The bureau says it did not find sufficient evidence to back up Simmons’ claims she was denied a Jehovah’s Witness bible or that she was discriminated against based on her gender and a disability.

Prison officials deny any discrimination occurred.

The case will proceed to a formal hearing.

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Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com

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