Sheriff Picks Christian Chaplins over Interfaith Program

July 16, 2003

Source: Contra Costa Times

On July 16, 2003 the Contra Costa Times reported that "Contra Costa's [CA] sheriff has hired a nationwide Christian company to provide jail chaplains, ending a 23-year partnership with a county interfaith group... The new contract with Good News Jail & Prison Ministry, the nation's largest supplier of jail chaplains, took effect July 1... The company aims to reduce costs and enhance the quality of services for the 1,600 inmates in the county's three detention facilities, said Mike Rutledge, director of inmate services... Good News took the contract for less than half the cost charged by the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa. It promised to work for free within three to five years... The parting of ways dealt a hefty blow to the Interfaith Council, said president the Rev. David Sammons. It also raised concerns that Good News is evangelical and might not cater to all religious beliefs."