Nevada - Inmate Sues over Prisons' Decision to Stop Serving Kosher Food
Nevada - An Orthodox Jewish prisoner filed a class action lawsuit Wednesday that claims officials with the Nevada Department of Corrections are violating the First Amendment with their decision to end kosher food options for inmates.
“This is a matter that’s been well-litigated,” attorney Jacob Hafter said. “Nevada is clearly on the wrong side of the issue. And so we had to file suit because they won’t work with us.”
Hafter represents Howard Ackerman, an inmate at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City. Ackerman’s lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas. He claims the Department of Corrections is violating his First Amendment right to free exercise of religion.
“I can’t respond because we are in litigation,” department spokesman Kevin Ingram said.
Hafter said the department announced its decision to end kosher food options for prisoners in December. He said the decision does not only affect Orthodox Jews. Other prisoners, such as observant Muslims, also rely on a kosher diet to meet the requirements of their religions, the lawyer said.
Ackerman, 50, was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole in a kidnapping case.
Hafter said he understands the views of those who say people should not commit crimes if they do not want to lose their rights.
But, he responded, “Isn’t part of the purpose of being institutionalized to reform somebody?”
“Judaism is a way of life,” he said. “We have laws that govern all of our actions ... and no law is supposed to be more important than the other.”
Read more at Las Vegas Review-Journal
More of today's headlines“Amsterdam - The Dutch government asked Germany on Wednesday to jail an 89-year-old Dutch Nazi who escaped in 1952 from a Dutch prison where he was serving a life...” Amsterdam - Dutch Ask Germany to Lock Up Elderly Nazi Fugitive “Springfield, MA - An apparent tornado struck the downtown of one of the state's largest cities on Wednesday afternoon, scattering debris, toppling trees and frightening...” Springfield, MA - Injuries Reported After Apparent Tornado Hits Mass.