Press Release

Florida faces heat over denial of kosher meals Court to decide rights of Jewish prisoners to fully practice their faith

Media Contact

Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

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, D.C. – Tomorrow, the federal government will argue that Florida cannot continue denying kosher meals to Jewish prisoners, especially since the vast majority of state prisons and the federal government have provided such meals for many years. Florida claims that providing kosher meals would be too expensive—even though the estimated cost of providing such meals is less than 0.02 percent of its annual budget, and even though studies show that allowing prisoners to practice their faith reduces both violence in prison and repeat crime outside of prison.

Florida is the only large prison system in the country that still insists on denying kosher meals to observant Jewish prisoners, despite the fact that it already provides a variety of more expensive, specialized diets for medical needs of its prisoners. Last year, a federal district court ordered Florida to begin providing kosher meals for all observant Jewish inmates, and Florida appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. In March, Becket filed an amicus brief urging the protection of the religious rights of all prisoners. This lawsuit is the first time the U.S. government is suing a state prison system under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA).

Oral Argument in U.S. v. Florida Department of Corrections

Daniel Blomberg, legal counsel of amicus Becket

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. EST

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
99 N.E. 4th Street Miami, Florida 33132

Becket attorneys will be available for comment immediately following the hearing.

For more information or to arrange an interview with a Becket  attorney, please contact Melinda Skea at  or 202-349-7224. Interviews can be arranged in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

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Becket is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditionsand has a 100% win-rate before the United StatesSupreme Court.For over 20 years, it has successfully defended clients of all faiths, including Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Native Americans, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians  (read more).