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Jails Aren't Obligated to Satisfy Every Dietary Need, Judge Says
by Mark Hamblett
New York City's Department of Correction does not have to change the manner in which it provides halal food to satisfy the particular objections of a handful of Muslim inmates at Rikers Island, a federal judge has ruled.
Southern District Judge Lewis Kaplan (See Profile), citing the $200 million that the city has spent implementing a meals program to accommodate the religious dietary requirements of Muslim inmates, turned aside the claims of Michael Wesley that his First and Fourteenth Amendment right to free exercise of religion was violated by the combined cleaning of halal and non-halal food-preparation service equipment.
Kaplan also said that Wesley's rights under the Religious Land Use and Incarcerated Persons Act was not violated in Wesley v. City of New York, 05 Civ. 5833.
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