The Shmooze

Inmates Rights Violated When Given Vegan Instead of Kosher Meals

By Michael Kaminer

  • Print
  • Share Share

Instead of whipping up a kosher meal, you serve your observant guests a vegan dish. Is that a crime?

It is according to federal Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson, at least if your “guests” are there involuntarily. The Indiana jurist ruled this week that her state’s Department of Corrections violated federal law when it substituted vegan meals for kosher for inmates, the JTA reported this week. Magnus-Stinton’s decision came 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, according to JTA.

Indiana started swapping vegan vittles for kosher last year, citing higher costs, according to the Associated Press. American Civil Liberties Union attorney Ken Falk says the change affected about 90 to 120 inmates, according to the Associated Press.

While they can take heart in the ruling, Jews heading for the slammer can also guarantee themselves kosher cuisine with “appropriate effort and planning,” according to a web site called — yes — JewsinPrison. “Most facilities will make some kind of arrangements for kosher food. If it is really important to someone to have strictly kosher food, the judge should be told before the sentence,” the site advises. “The judge can then instruct the appropriate prison that they will be receiving a Jewish inmate who has special dietary needs. These needs will sometimes be accommodated with pre-cooked kosher meals that are sealed, similar to the kosher food served on airlines.”

In the Matson case, meanwhile, the judge set a hearing for November 30 on the scope of a possible injunction, the AP reported.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Jane Magnus-Stinson, Kosher, Matson Willis, Miami Correctional Facility

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.