State resumes kosher meals in jails after 5 years

Lack of kosher meals forced inmates to violate religious beliefs, officials say

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla - After more than five years without them, the state says it will again serve kosher meals to inmates, according to a spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections.

It comes five months after the federal government sued the state, saying the lack of kosher meals forced inmates to violate their core religious beliefs each day.

Many Muslim inmates had relied on the kosher meals because the state doesn't offer halal food to prisoners. When corrections officials ended the kosher meals in 2007 they cited cost and said it would be unfair to satisfy some religious preferences and not others. They instead ended the use of pork products and encouraged those with religious diets to choose vegetarian or vegan meals.

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