Cases discussing providing a secular alternative as an option will validate a referral to religious based programs like AA/NA as a component of treatment

Nicastro v. Ritchey

Nicastro v. Ritchey (W.D. Penn. 2023)

Oermitting plaintiff’s First Amendment Establishment clause to proceed but denying Plaintiff summary judgment, because of factual issue as to whether secular alternative available.

Americans v. Prison Fellowship

Americans United v. Prison Fellowship, 509 F.3d 406, 406 (8th Cir. 2007)

Holding that a state supported non-coercive, non-rewarding faith based program violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution because an alternative was not available.

Turner v. Hickman

Turner v. Hickman, 342 F. Supp.2d 887 (E. D. Calif. 9-30-2004) (granting injunction in prisoners favor, which removed any non-compliance with NA from his record and required secular option, even though secular alternative now available because without injunction “it would leave defendants free to return to their old ways.”)

Freedom from Religion Foundation Inc. v. McCallum

Freedom from Religion Foundation, Inc. v. McCallum, No. 00-C-617-C (W. D. Wis. 2002)

No First Amendment violation, when secular alternative available.


In re Garcia, 24 P.3d 1091, 1093 (Wash. Ct. App. 2001)

Holding that mandating attendance AA/NA classes does violate the Establishment Clause. But where, as here, alternative classes without religious-based content are provided, there is no constitutional violation.

O'Conner v. California

O’Connor v. California, 855 F. Supp. 303, 308 (C.D. Cal. 1994)

Finding that the Establishment Clause was not violated because the DUI probationer had several choices of programs, including self-help programs that are not premised on monotheistic deity.