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Incarceration & Indian Rights

"Prevention through social justice is a more promising strategy than reaction through criminal justice."

The ability to conduct Native American spiritual ceremonies or recognize Indian spiritual and cultural practices (such as hair length, sweats, sacred items and other religious issues) in prisons all over the U.S. is not accorded any of the rights that mainstream religions and their ministers receive.

The relationship of life chances to the potential for cultural conflict with the criminal system is influenced more by the nature of the law, its cultural biases and processes, the risks implicit in a life lived under cultural hegemony. This high rate of conflict with the law experienced by Indian people needs to be focused on discrimination in policing, charging, prosecution, bail, sentencing and parole, starting with a blatant disregard for cultural and religious spiritual Indian practices by the state of California Dept of Corrections.

Putting substantial pressure in an adherent to modify their behavior and to violate their beliefs'; infringes on the free exercise of religion. As decided in Billy Soza Warsoldier v. California Dept. of Corrections, filed July 29, 2005, U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. (Case No. 04-55879 D.C. No. CV-04-02233-RSWL Opinion)

Therefore, we the undersigned strongly request that Native American Indian spiritual ceremonies and religious practices be accorded the same rights and privileges that mainstream religions receive in California Dept of Corrections.

Billy Warsoldier's 9th Circuit Court Appeals v. California Dept of Corrections Hair Policy on Indian Religious Grounds Case. (tag below to review plaintiff appellant in its entirety)

Billy Warsoldier Appeal Case (Adobe .pdf format)


A.I.M. Mission Statement

The American Indian Movement Riverside is a proactive advocacy and educational organization concerned with promoting the unity and security of Indian communities, families, and drug free youth programs. The organization is dedicated to representing the many interests and concerns of all Native American Indian people, particularly renewal of spirituality to empower Indian people with dignity regarding political, social and legal issues, including cultural traditions and inherent sovereign rights.

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A.I.M. Riverside Chapter

P.O. Box 135

Mountain Center, California 92561


AIM DISCLAIMER: The American Indian Movement its Chapters and Support Groups do not support, nor condone Violence or acts of Malicious behavior. Such behavior by individuals acting on their own, do not represent AIM. AIM is a spiritual movement of committed individuals who walk the red path of tolerance, peace and respecting all life as sacred.

Any questions or comments regarding actions, events, etc., involving or regarding participation of ANY American Indian Movement Group or Individual, please contact us at aim@aimriverside.org

Site Established Dec 2005

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