Streaming Faith Initiative
Liberty Quest Foundation – Project Statement
Statement of Problem:
Inmates in the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) are unreasonably restricted in their access to inspirational and motivational audio religious content.
Statement of Current Situation:
The BOP has a system in place that allows inmates to download and listen to audio content. Inmates are permitted to purchase MP3 players and download commercial music for a fee. This fee is significantly more than the traditional fees charged to the general public for downloading music. Commercial music is the only content made available to inmates.
Today, members of various faith traditions are going paperless, turning to hand-held devices, in addition to traditional bound scripture and prayer books, to find spiritual sustenance. Because of the prison environment, many inmates must practice their religion on an individual basis. In addition, many also have some level of learning disability which hinders their ability and motivation to read. With this scenario, an opportunity exists to expand the reach of the gospel through the use of the BOP’s current music delivery infrastructure with free content provided by numerous religious streaming providers.
Religion offers a connection to the community. In addition to providing hope, in what for many can appear to be a hopeless situation, inmates gain direction, greater self-control and meaning for their life from the practice of religion while in prison, enhancing peace of mind and personal contentment. Allowing a prisoner to obtain more religion is a good thing. A stable majority of Americans (69%) view faith-based programming as socially beneficial and the right to practice is one of the few rights that prisoners maintain.
As the BOP has a delivery system in place that, for little to no incremental cost, would allow inmates to easily receive and listen to a broad scope of inspirational messages in a non-intrusive manner that would provide for healing, as well as enhance prisoners’ minds and souls. This, in turn, would assist in reforming inmates, encouraging morally and legally correct behavior and reducing the prospect for recidivism (in America, two thirds of released prisoners return to prison within three years).
Objective of Initiative:
To have the BOP authorize and make available for download through its existing system faith-based audio content .