Pierce County Jail Making Changes for Muslim Inmates
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union says the Pierce County Jail has agreed to make changes to accommodate Muslim inmates.
They include allowing prayer rugs and brimless caps that had been prohibited and making halal meals available, similar to kosher food for Jewish inmates.
In a statement Wednesday, county Deputy Prosecutor Michelle Luna-Green said the county "is committed to respecting the religious rights of inmates from all faiths, but not at the cost of inmate and staff security." She added that the county "followed federal law before the suit was filed and will continue in its commitment to the law and religious freedom."
The ACLU said the new policies settle a lawsuit filed two years ago in federal court in Tacoma by the ACLU and the Public Interest Law Group. As part of the settlement, Pierce County paid $200,000 in legal fees and costs.
Luna-Green says the county agreed to pay "a portion of the attorney fees claimed by the ACLU."