MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Florida’s Department of Corrections is being sued by the federal government for not offering its prison population meals that conform to their religious beliefs.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that, in the government’s lawsuit filed in Miami federal court, federal officials say that by refusing to offer kosher meals, the state “forces hundreds of its prisoners to violate their core religious beliefs on a daily basis.”
The Justice Department says Florida is violating a federal law protecting prisoners’ ability to worship. A message left Thursday morning for the state corrections spokeswoman was not immediately returned.
Florida stopped offering kosher meals to eligible prisoners statewide in 2007. Since 2010, only about a dozen prisoners in a pilot program at a South Florida are offered kosher meals. The lawsuit says 250 prisoners a day received kosher meals under the previous program.
Florida has roughly 100,000 inmates.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel contributed to this report.