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Statement by Fred Thompson on First Amendment Ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit

Contact: Karen Hanretty, 571-730-1010; www.Fred08.com

MCLEAN, Virginia, Dec. 4 /Christian Newswire/ -- Sen. Fred Thompson released the following statement today in response to a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit - Americans United for Separation of Church and State v. Prison Fellowship - regarding an important First Amendment ruling on religious programming in prisons.

"The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion appears to allow Prison Fellowship's privately funded voluntary prisoner rehabilitation programs in Iowa's prisons to continue.  Prison inmates face daunting odds: statistically, two-thirds of them will be rearrested within three years of their release.  As a society, we must do something to reduce this number and help returning inmates break the cycle of crime.  Prison Fellowship's program has already demonstrated great promise.  This ruling will allow faith-based prison programming to continue in order to improve the odds of successful reentry into society. This decision represents a win for the State of Iowa, for Prison Fellowship, and for anyone concerned about reducing recidivism."