Nevada judge halts non-kosher meals for inmates

JTA

A federal judge in Nevada has ordered the Nevada Department of Corrections to refrain from serving a new menu to inmates who keep kosher.

Judge Gloria Navarro United States District Court for the District of Nevada on Feb. 10 issued an injunction against the department to prevent it from serving a new “common fare” menu to inmate Howard Ackerman, and to ask nearly 300 other inmates who receive a kosher diet if they also wish to be included in the injunction, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.

The new menu is scheduled to begin on Feb. 21.

Ackerman said in a lawsuit that the meals will not be kosher, which violates his First Amendment right of religious freedom.

Ackerman’s pro bono attorney Jacob Hafter, who is Orthodox, said that the new menu includes sausage, which renders it non-kosher. The menu will also not be under rabbinic supervision

The new menu is being implemented to save the corrections department money, about $1.5 million a year, according to reports.

Ackerman filed a lawsuit in January saying he was transferred to a new prison where he cannot get kosher food. He said the transfer was in retaliation for another lawsuit, filed last June, following reports that the Nevada Department of Corrections would be discontinuing kosher meals.

Ackerman, 51, is an Orthodox Jew who is serving a life sentence for kidnapping.

The judge set a hearing date on the case for April 18.

 

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