U.S. judge rules Florida prisons must offer kosher meals to Jewish inmates

Florida prisons will need to provide kosher meals to qualified inmates, according to a new ruling. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Florida prisons will need to provide kosher meals to qualified inmates, according to a new ruling. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) Florida-based U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz has ruled that Jewish prison inmates who request kosher meals must receive them, following a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department against that state's Department of Corrections, the Associated Press reported.

The issue first arose in 2010 after Bruce Rich, a Jewish man incarcerated for life for murdering his parents, alleged that the state of Florida was refusing to grant him kosher meals, violating his federal rights. Up until 2007, more than 9,500 inmates were approved to receive kosher meals, but that year the state cancelled the meals due to their high cost.

In 2012, the Obama administration expressed its support for Rich’s lawsuit. Currently, 35 states provide kosher food to inmates.

Posted on May 7, 2015 .