Florida Salvation Army contract challenged on religious freedom grounds

Florida county contracts in which the Salvation Army monitors people convicted of misdemeanors while they're on probation have been challenged on grounds of religious freedom.

Kevin Wood filed a court appeal after he was placed on probation supervised by the Salvation Army Correctional Service. The Salvation Army says 30 of its offices supervise 26,000 Florida probationers though such county contracts.

Wood said he shouldn't have to be placed under a religious group's control - and shouldn't have to pay fees to the Salvation Army related to his monitoring.

A state Salvation Army official said the probation program has no religious requirements, funding is kept separate from the denomination's religious activities and such contracts have survived legal challenges. The state attorney general's office said it has received no complaints.