Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Arizona DOC Settles Kosher Diet Suit

On January 29, 1999, the Arizona Department of Corrections settled a lawsuit involving a Jewish prisoner's right to a kosher diet. Kenneth Ashelman, an orthodox Jewish prisoner, filed suit when the DOC refused to provide him with a kosher diet. The suit was dismissed by the district but reversed on appeal. See: Ashelman v. Wawrzaszek, 111 F.3d 674 (9th Cir. 1997)[PLN, Oct. 1997]. The Ninth circuit appeals court held that Jewish prisoners are entitled to a kosher diet.

Under the terms of the settlement, Arizona prison officials agreed to provide Ashelman with a menu that includes hard boiled eggs, prepackaged breakfast cereal, whole fruits and vegetables, tuna and TV dinner style kosher trays. A rabbi will ensure the meals do not violate Jewish dietary laws.

The Arizona DOC states it has 70 Jewish prisoners in its custody. Presumably, they too are entitled to kosher meals even though the suit was not filed or litigated as a class action suit. The settlement concludes two years of negotiations between Ashelman and the Arizona DOC after the Ninth circuit's remand.

Dallas Morning News

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Ashelman v. Wawraszek