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AHLC Sues Kansas Department of Corrections

For Immediate Release

Contact: Amy Couch, 202-238-9088,

David Niose, 202-238-9088,

(Washington, D.C., September 20, 2017)—The American Humanist Association’s (AHA) Appignani Legal Center filed a lawsuit today challenging church-state violations by the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC). With a complaint filed in federal court in Kansas City on behalf of an inmate and the AHA, the lawsuit objects to displaying religious messages, images, and symbols on public bulletin boards and elsewhere on prison grounds; encouraging and facilitating prayer requests; displaying a large wooden cross in a multi-purpose room that is used for various purposes; and otherwise imposing strong Christian values on inmates.

“Prisons are not exempt from the Constitution,” said AHA legal director David Niose,”and prisoners do not lose the shield from state-sponsored religion provided by the Establishment Clause.”

Representing more than 220 chapter affiliates and 34,000 members nationwide, including Plaintiff Shari Webber-Dun, AHA is dedicated to advancing and preserving separation of church and state and the constitutional rights of humanists, atheists, and other freethinkers.

Read the AHA’s complaint here.


Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, DC, the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

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