The Texas Supreme Court Feb. 23 waded into the roiling waters where government and religion meet as they heard arguments about the constitutionality of a novel faith-based jail unit in Tarrant County. At issue in David Williams, et al. v. Ruth Maree Lara and Michael Huff is a Christian Education Unit initiated by Sheriff Williams in 1992. Volunteers provide four hours of daily Christian teachings to inmates who agree to be housed in the unit. The units, one for men and one for women, have been successful in reducing violence and promoting rehabilitation.

Lara, who is Jewish, and Huff, a Jehovah’s Witness, are former inmates who challenged the program as a violation of the separation between church and state.

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