Shepherd v. Oregon Youth Authority

Imprisoned Seventh Day Adventist Allowed to Attend Service

July 13, 2009 - Levi Shepherd is a Seventh Day Adventist inmate of MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility, which is administered by the Oregon Youth Authority (OYA).  As a Seventh Day Adventist, Mr. Shepherd wants to attend religious services on Saturdays, his Sabbath.OYA does not provide Seventh Day Adventist clergy or services. Initially, OYA allowed Mr. Shepherd to attend the Jewish services held on Saturdays; however, after he verbally challenged staff authority, he was no longer even permitted to attend those.  Furthermore, OYA refused to allow Mr. Shepherd to have any religious paraphernalia besides a bible.  The ACLU contacted MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility, which responded that the person in charge of Mr. Shepherd’s “cottage” has been placed on administrative leave and that OYA has returned Mr. Shepherd’s religious items.  Mr. Shepherd is now again permitted to attend Saturday Jewish services.
Heather Van Meter of Williams, Kastner & Gibbs PLLC was the ACLU cooperating attorney on this case.