Huy Helps Create New State Juvenile Rehabilitation, Religious Rights Policy

Oct 10th, 2019

Effective October 4, 2019, the Washington State Department of Children, Youth & Families adopted its new Juvenile Rehabilitation (JR) Policy 4.11, “Accessing Religious & Spiritual Activities,” after consulting and collaborating with Washington Tribes, Huy, and the ACLU of Washington over the last year.  

The new policy will allow all Indigenous youth “the opportunity to express their right of religious practice,” whether through traditional tribal worship, prayer, song, or other practices.  For authorization, the policy expressly relies, in part, upon the federal American Indian Religious Freedoms Act (AIRFA).

An excerpt:

Federal and state law protect the rights of all persons to practice individual religious beliefs. Juvenile Rehabilitation (JR) acknowledges and supports this inherent and constitutionally protected right of JR youth to believe, express, and exercise the religion of their choice.

The policy also adopted the new definition of state corrections “religious coordinator,” which Huy achieved this past state legislative session.