MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Florida’s prison inmates looking to exercise their faith with a kosher meal will have the option in all state prisons at the end of the year.

At a hearing on Tuesday, a top Department of Corrections official testified that the program will follow Jewish dietary rules starting July in north Florida’s Union Correctional Institution.

The program, by the end of 2013, will be implemented in 60 facilities.

The Justice Department wants a federal judge to issue an order requiring kosher meals so that state officials won’t reverse the policy as they did in 2007. The judge issued no immediate ruling.

Muslim inmates are seeking to join the case to gain access to halal meals. Jewish and Muslim inmates contend the lack of special diets prevents them from properly exercising their faiths.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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