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Muslims In Michigan Prisons Will Get Halal Meals Under Settlement With State

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Thousands of Muslim inmates in Michigan will have access to meals that comply with their religious beliefs.

That’s under a court-approved settlement announced Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.

We have more from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher.

The settlement also requires the Michigan Department of Corrections to let inmates celebrate religious holidays with group meals. The state already allows Jewish inmates to request kosher meals and celebrate Passover.

Michael Steinberg is the ACLU of Michigan’s legal director. He says denying those things to followers of Islam and other religions are unfair and unconstitutional.

“The government may not deprive Americans of their fundamental right to practice their religion, even when they’re in prison,” he says.

Steinberg says inmates have also been punished for attending weekly religious services instead of scheduled work duties. He says the settlement allows prisoners to have those punishments erased from their records.

Jake Neher is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He covers the State Legislature and other political events in Lansing.
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