Miami – A federal judge has ruled that the law requires Florida prisons to serve kosher meals to inmates who request them for religious reasons.
Miami U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz issued the order in a lawsuit filed against the state Department of Corrections by the U.S. Justice Department. The two sides have until Wednesday to come up with final documents to implement the order.
The state had argued that it had begun serving kosher meals to Jewish inmates who requested them and that the judge’s ruling was unnecessary.
But Seitz pointed out the policy could easily be changed to deny kosher meals without an order to enforce it.
Court documents show more than 9,500 Florida prisoners have been approved for the kosher meals. The program’s estimated cost is $12.3 million annually.