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Sandra Day O'Connor Hears Landmark Case Regarding the Viability of Faith-Based Initiatives

Appeal to Determine Whether Effective Faith-Based Prisoner Rehabilitation Program Will Be Shut Down

-Prison Fellowship President & Lead Counsel Available Outside Courtroom to Brief Media Immediately After Appeal Hearing

Contact: Michelle Farmer, 770-813-0000, 770-757-4900 cell, mfarmer@DeMossGroup.com; Regina Lupoli, 770-813-0000, 770-757-4900 cell; both with The DeMoss Group

MEDIA ADVISORY, Feb. 9 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following is submitted in regards to appeal hearing being held on Feb. 13:

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Judge Robert L. Wollman, and Judge Duane Benton for the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals

Oral arguments in an appeal of a June 2006 federal judge’s ruling against Prison Fellowship, the InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI), and the State of Iowa in a lawsuit brought by Americans United for Separation of Church and State. The judge ruled that IFI Iowa, a voluntary faith-based prisoner rehabilitation program is unconstitutional.

Tuesday, Feb. 13, 9:00 a.m.

Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse
Division I, En Banc Courtroom
111 South 10th Street
St. Louis

Prison Fellowship President and former Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley and lead counsel Anthony Picarello of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty will be available to brief media on the courthouse steps immediately following the hearing.

To prevent a voluntary program for prisoners of any faith or no faith from being shut down. For more than a decade, the InnerChange Freedom Initiative has produced proven results in changing the lives of hardened criminals and stopping the revolving door of crime. The program, which operates in Texas, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, and Arkansas—and is set to launch next month in Missouri—presents viable solutions to challenges that state and local governments have struggled with for decades. The appeal is being watched closely by legal scholars and others who consider it a landmark case regarding the viability of the concept of faith-based initiatives.

MEDIA NOTE: For broadcast-quality b-roll or to schedule an interview with Mark Earley or Anthony Picarello, contact Michelle Farmer (770) 813-0000 / (770) 757-4900 cell. For more information, including a comprehensive media kit and high-resolution, downloadable photos, visit www.DeMossNewsPond.com/IFI.