June 2020 Church & State Magazine | AU Bulletin

The Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP) has recently decided that Humanists can endorse chaplains to work in its correctional facilities.

The decision means that the Humanist Society, an adjunct of the American Humanist Association (AHA), will be able to send chaplains into federal prisons to offer counseling and support for inmates who identity as nontheistic.

Officials at the FBOP sent a letter to the AHA recently announcing the change in policy.

“The Bureau of Prisons acknowledges The Humanist Society as an ecclesiastical endorser and you as its endorsing agent for candidates from the Humanist community seeking employment with the Bureau of Prisons,” the Rev. Heidi Kugler, FBOP’s chaplaincy administrator,  wrote in a letter to AHA officials. “The Bureau values this relationship with the ecclesiastical endorser because it recognizes the essential support the faith community provides to its chaplains and to the Bureau of Prisons in the accomplishment of our mission.”

The FBOP oversees 122 federal prisons across the United States.