Jewish Inmates Deprived of Kosher Food

January 08, 2016

In 2013 the Michigan Department of Corrections stopped ordering pre-packaged kosher meals into the prison for Jewish inmates.  Instead, it adopted a “one size fits all” vegan diet that it claimed met the religious requirements of all religions.  However, the vegan food is prepared in the same kitchen as non-kosher food and is served using the same utensils that are used for non-kosher food.  This “cross-contamination” violates kosher laws. 

In 2016 the ACLU of Michigan and the Civil Rights Clinic at Michigan State University College of Law agreed to represent a Jewish inmate who is challenging the denial of a kosher diet as a violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.

(Arnold v. Heyns; ACLU Legal Director Michael J. Steinberg; Cooperating Attorney Patricia Selby; MSU Civil Rights Clinic Director Daniel Manville.)

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