August 17, 2012- 2pm
Arguing that prisoners' rights have been violated, the U.S. Department of Justice this week filed a federal lawsuit aimed at forcing the Florida Department of Corrections to make available kosher meals.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Miami, says Florida abandoned serving kosher meals in prisons in 2007, except for a pilot program at the South Florida Reception Center. "FDC's (the Florida Department of Corrections') denial of kosher meals substantially burdens the religious exercise of prisoners desiring to keep kosher, as consuming a kosher diet is a fundamental tenet of Judaism and other religions practiced by FDC prisoners,'' the lawsuit says.
Before 2007, the lawsuit says prisoners who wanted to keep kosher could be sent to 13 prisons. It says an average of 250 prisoners a day took part in the kosher program. The lawsuit lists 13 prisoners who want kosher meals but are unable to get them at a variety of prison facilities.