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Religious Programming for Prisoners

In 1992, the MDOC first formally recognized religious groups to be accommodated with group services on a uniform, Department-wide basis. Before that time, each facility made the decision regarding who would be accommodated. 

In 1992, all groups that were meeting were "grandfathered in." Since that date, we only add new faith groups when their congregant meeting needs cannot be met by attendance at any existing group. Generally, we accommodate faith groups as "umbrella" groups, rather than accommodating the various sects, denominations and subgroups within the larger faith group.

The Michigan Department of Corrections has a Chaplaincy Advisory Council (CAC). The CAC is a group of volunteers, representing various faith groups and judicatories. They exist to advise the MDOC regarding religious issues.

The Department has a Policy Directive 05.03.150 that covers allowable religious materials, religious property, religious practices, and religious meals. The policy directive also includes the current list of recognized religious groups.