First, there is no separation of church and state conflict here. Second, if we’re going to ditch a program with a tiny recidivism rate because it makes the ACLU feel sad, we don’t deserve to survive as a Republic.
From the article:
"...must repay about $160,000 to the state for money received between June 2006 and June 2007..."
"The 24-hour a day, seven-day a week program at Newton immerses inmates in evangelical Christianity."
That's money received from the government used directly to evangelize inmates. How can this be anything other than a clear conflict?
Indeed, the director of the program was pleased with the ruling, since it clarified what is and isn't permissible, and since they are now fully funded from private sources, so long as the program is not compulsory or tied in with some other prison privileges, then there is nothing for them to worry about.
Muslim prison programs also claim to have turned around the lives of prisoners, and I don't doubt they have help some inmates. Do we want the state funding their efforts too when they apply for funding?
Sounds like a good result all round to me.