2017-08-30 / World News

Federal judge rules kosher meals must be provided

A federal judge in Idaho ruled that the state’s Department of Correction must provide kosher meals for prisoners in all Idaho prisons.

The ruling is the result of a settlement agreement on a religious freedom lawsuit filed in May by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of four Jewish inmates. Federal Magistrate Judge Candy Wagahoff Dale approved the agreement, according to the ACLU, requiring the Department of Correction to provide food certified by reliable kosher certification agencies served in pre-packaged, sealed servings to prevent contamination.

The lawsuit will continue as the court determines what compensation is due the Jewish prisoners, according to the ACLU. It had filed the suit, which alleged that the prison service was violating the prisoners’ constitutional rights to free exercise of religion and equal protection, with the Boise civil rights firm Ferguson Durham.

Two of the plaintiffs, who come from several Jewish streams ranging from Reform to Orthodox, ate only fruit and matzah in April because they were not provided with kosher for Passover meals. (JTA)

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