Female Inmate Sues Over Kosher Meals

April 20, 2004

Source: The Washington Times


On April 20, 2004 The Washington Times reported, "A Jewish inmate said in a lawsuit filed yesterday that Virginia discriminates against female prisoners by limiting special religious diets to its maximum-security prison for women, while providing such meals in all men's prisons. Mitzi Ann Hamilton, serving 5½ years for fraud and forgery at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women, also says the Department of Corrections has refused to provide her with certified kosher meals as part of its 'common-fare' diet designed to accommodate inmates' religious beliefs. The department offers the common-fare diet of tomatoes, beans, sardines and iceberg lettuce to female inmates only at the maximum-security Fluvanna prison, the lawsuit states.... Even though [Hamilton] had the lowest security classification, the department assigned Hamilton to the maximum-security Fluvanna prison based on her meal request, instead of to a lower-security prison, the lawsuit says.  As a result, Hamilton 'has been housed with violent, aggressive inmates, and she does not have access to the ... rehabilitative services offered at minimum-security prisons,' the lawsuit says."