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Jewish Journal

Inmates’ rights were violated on kosher meals, judge rules

November 8, 2010 | 9:31 am

The Indiana Department of Corrections violated federal law when it substituted vegan meals for kosher for its inmates, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Court Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson made the ruling last week in Indianapolis in response to a class-action suit filed last year against the department by Matson Willis, an Orthodox Jewish inmate at the Miami Correctional Facility.

The meals reportedly were changed in order to cut costs. The judge said the change violated the religious rights of Willis.

Some 90 to 120 inmates were affected by the change, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

A hearing set for Nov. 30 will decide what actions the department must take going forward.

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