American Indians Sue Maine Prison Again

February 13, 2007

Source: The Guardian,,-6413528,00.html

BANGOR, Maine (AP) - American Indian inmates have sued state prison officials again, claiming they've been denied access to key religious requirements such as a sweat lodge, powwows and ceremonial food and music.

The federal lawsuit filed this month said that while Catholic and Protestant inmates can worship privately in the prison chapel, American Indians must conduct some ceremonies outside, in a heavily trafficked area between buildings at the maximum security prison in Warren.

Because of the lack of privacy, participants allege they have been subjected to derogatory comments and unwelcome stares.

Ten inmates and a prisoners group called Sacred Feather, Native American Circle seek a private location to conduct ceremonies and permission for members to buy prayer blankets, tribal attire and other religious items that can be kept in prison cells.