(JTA) — A federal judge in Nevada has ordered the Nevada Department of Corrections to refrain from serving a new menu to inmates who keep kosher.
On February 10, Judge Gloria Navarro of the United States District Court for the District of Nevada issued an injunction against the department, preventing it from serving a new “common fare” menu to inmate Howard Ackerman. The court directed the prisons service to ask nearly 300 other inmates who receive kosher meals if they wish to be included in the injunction, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.
The new menu is scheduled to take effect on Feb. 21.
Ackerman said in his complaint that the new meals will not be kosher, and that would violate his First Amendment right of religious freedom.
Ackerman’s pro bono attorney Jacob Hafter, who is Orthodox, said that the new menu includes sausage, which renders it non-kosher. Also, the menu will not have rabbinic supervision.
The new menu is being implemented to save the corrections department money, about $1.5 million a year, according to reports.
Ackerman filed a lawsuit in January saying he was transferred to a new prison where he cannot get kosher food. He said the transfer was in retaliation for another lawsuit, filed last June, following reports that the Nevada Department of Corrections would be discontinuing kosher meals.
Ackerman, 51, is an Orthodox Jew who is serving a life sentence for kidnapping.
The judge scheduled a hearing for April 18.