Attorney General ignores lawsuit. Says chaplain program will continue

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul. Wisconsin Public Television

Wisconsin State Journal. Wisconsin Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul has no plans to end the department’s chaplain program created under his Republican predecessor despite a lawsuit filed against the initiative.

Kaul told the Wisconsin State Journal he views the chaplain program as an important component of the Department of Justice’s wellness efforts for employees, downplaying concerns from a secular organization that the program is an unconstitutional violation of the separation between church and state and excludes atheists and non-believers from participation.

Kaul said the department has a range of secular wellness options for those seeking them, and that the chaplain program is just one part of a multi-pronged approach to boosting employee well-being. Kaul said the department also offers a peer support program, which trains employees to identify the signs of someone in crisis and how to help someone who is considering suicide.

DOJ employees can also take advantage of employee assistance programs provided to state workers who are experiencing personal and work-related issues.

“Having a broad officer wellness program that includes lots of options … is important,” Kaul said. “Law enforcement officers and our division of criminal investigation around the state encounter some really difficult circumstances. We do not plan to immediately end the program.”

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