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Some Nevada inmates balking at court-approved kosher food pact

(JTA) — Dozens of inmates in the Nevada prison system reportedly are balking at the kosher meal service approved by the state of Nevada in a bid to settle a class-action lawsuit.

On Tuesday, the state’s Board of Examiners approved a contract to provide kosher kitchens and rabbinical supervision of kosher food for prison inmates as part of an effort to settle the lawsuit filed by Jewish inmates who want kosher prison meals, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

But some 45 of the nearly 300 inmates receiving the kosher meals objected to the service approved, according to the non-profit Scroll K/Vaad Hakashrus, saying the food is not up to the same standard as what is served to the rest of the inmates. They said it does not meet nutritional values, according to the Sun.

A federal court in Las Vegas will hear the inmates’ complaints and decide whether to approve the settlement of the class-action lawsuit at a hearing on Oct. 11.

After Howard Ackerman, 51, an Orthodox Jew who is serving a life sentence for kidnapping, filed a lawsuit in January, the prison system said it was changing its meal plan to a "common fare" menu that would save the prison system about $1.5 million a year. The menu includes shellfish and mixes dairy and meat, both prohibited under Jewish law.

In February, Judge Gloria Navarro of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada prevented the department from serving the new menu to Ackerman, and asked the nearly 300 other inmates who are receiving a kosher diet if they wished to be included in the injunction, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported that month.

 

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