Timothy Krueger, a former drug addict, entered Oregon’s prison system in January 2017 after pleading guilty to driving with a revoked license. He was sentenced to two years, but based on time served and the possibility of a reduction in time due to good behavior, Krueger had an expected release date of July 20, 2018.
Throughout Krueger’s time in AIP, the NDN counselor responsible for overseeing Krueger’s rehabilitation showed hostility toward his Christian faith, refusing to let him discuss its role in his rehabilitation. Krueger completed the program and even received a certificate and a medallion; however, the counselor later revoked the certificate and medallion. Based on the counselor’s recommendation, ODOC extended Krueger’s stay in AIP, and the counselor eventually flunked him out of the program due to a “lack of progress.” The counselor, who repeatedly accused Krueger of using his religion “as a crutch,” and NDN, supervised by ODOC, collectively denied Krueger the early release he had rightfully earned.
“Recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have made clear that governments and their agents are not to show hostility to individuals based on their religious beliefs,” PJI president Brad Dacus said. “That includes prison inmates. The law recognizes that religion can have a positive impact on inmates in their efforts to rehabilitate themselves. The Defendants in this case effectively punished Timothy Krueger for turning to Christianity to turn his life around, and they must be held accountable for that.”
PJI staff attorney Ray Hacke, operating out of PJI’s Oregon office, filed the lawsuit seeking damages against those parties, as well as Powder River’s superintendent, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon’s Pendleton Division.