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Religious Opportunities & Limitations
Saturday, January 05, 2008

ICE/ERO Performance-Based National Detention Standards 2011
5.5 Religious Practices - V. Expected Practices
A. Religious Opportunities and Limitations

1. Detainees shall have opportunities to engage in practices of their religious faith consistent with safety, security and the orderly operation of the facility. Religious practices to be accommodated are not limited to practices that are compulsory, central or essential to a particular faith tradition, but cover all sincerely held religious beliefs. Attendance at all religious activities is voluntary.

Efforts shall be made to allow for religious practice in a manner that does not adversely affect detainees not participating in the practice. Detainees cannot be required to participate in or attend a religious activity in order to receive a service of the facility or participate in other, non-religious activities. Chaplains, religious services coordinators and volunteers shall not provide unsolicited religious services or counseling to detainees.

2. Religious activities shall be open to the entire detainee population, without discrimination based on a detainee’s race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

Accommodations shall be provided to detainees who have limited English proficiency, or who are deaf or hard of hearing, to ensure their access to services should they wish to participate.

3. When necessary for the security or the orderly operation of the facility, the facility administrator may discontinue a religious activity or practice or limit participation to a reasonable number of detainees or to members of a particular religious group after consulting with the chaplain or religious services coordinator. Facility records shall reflect the limitation or discontinuance of a religious practice, as well as the reason for such limitation or discontinuance.

4. Ordinarily, when the nature of the activity or practice (e.g., fasts, ceremonial meals, headwear requirements, work prescriptions) indicates a need for such a limitation, only those detainees whose files reflect the pertinent religious preference shall be included.

5. When a detainee submits a request concerning the reason for denial of access to religious activities, facilities or meals, a copy of the request and response to the request shall be placed in the detention file.