Man behind bars in prison

Imagine getting all the way through a 20 hour fast, only to be presented with a wilted bologna sandwich at the end of the day. You could make the argument that that alone constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

A prison in Alaska stands accused of knowingly serving pork to its Muslim inmates during Ramadan. Inmates are supposedly entitled by law to three meals a day, including two hot meals. However, the Anchorage Correctional Complex reportedly provided their Muslim inmates with just one cold meal ranging from 500 to 1,000 calories in total – far below a healthy amount.

To make matters worse, many of these cold meals included pork products such as bologna. Since the Koran explicitly declares pork haram (forbidden) for all Muslims, the prisoners, already undernourished as a result of ritual fasting for the Islamic holy month, were reduced to as little as 500 calories a day – essentially a starvation diet.

A Month of Fasting

Muslims are required to fast between sunrise and sunset during Ramadan, which began May 15 in the United States. For those living in the Southern Hemisphere where the days are short this time of year, Ramadan means going roughly 12 hours without food each day – a fairly reasonable task. But the farther north a Muslim person resides, the longer the fast. In some parts the far north, such as Alaska, fasting times can reach 18-20 hours a day. Such an experience must be excruciating.

Imagine getting all the way through a 20 hour fast, only to be presented with a wilted bologna sandwich at the end of the day. You could make the argument that that alone constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

But now imagine you’re even forbidden from touching the widely-despised lunch meat, so you’re instead reduced to picking at the soggy white bread around it, and perhaps nibbling at the cheese a bit. Ouch.

Taking It to Court

Upon learning of the situation, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) quickly filed a lawsuit against the prison, alleging that guards intentionally fed observant Muslim inmates pork products as punishment and violated their constitutional rights.  The lawsuit insists such treatment is a clear example of cruel and unusual punishment.

“The Constitution and Congress forbid prisons from compelling inmates to choose between their faith and food,” CAIR’s National Litigation Director Lena Masri said in a statement. “We hope that a court will do what Anchorage Correctional Complex officials will not: ensure that Muslim inmates are not starved or forced to violate the principles of their faith during the holy month of Ramadan.”

The suit is seeking a more “balanced nutritional diet” as well as unspecified monetary damages. A separate emergency motion was also filed requiring the court to provide Muslim prisoners “adequate nutrition, free of pork products” effective immediately.

The case is now in court, with a final verdict pending. However, in the meantime, a federal judge granted the inmates some reprieve by slapping the guards with restraining orders and forcing them to provide pork-free meal options to the Muslim prisoners.

 

98 comments

  1. Bear says:

    Prisoners give up their rights.
    Food is food

    1. bruce says:

      If you can’t do the time don’t do the crime.

      1. T'Keren Valmaz says:

        And if we want them to actually try to put the past behind them and become more civil and socially well adjusted people should we perhaps not teach by example and show them how respect and understanding work?

        1. Jim says:

          T I was not sure we would ever agree on anything but on this one I concur.

          1. Lori Mongillo says:

            Yes. I also agree. The goal of a correctional facility should be to encourage them to become better people. Not cause them to become more angry and hateful.

    2. Cyril says:

      Prisoners give up certain rights. But the basic human rights still stand. They can practice religion and are entitled to a reasonable diet that accounts for their religious restrictions.
      They don’t get Halal prepared food. But they do get food absent of pork and other restricted foods. This has already been decided in Federal Court.

      1. John McAllister says:

        So true. The problem is, if the court doesn’t see it…

        You mostly know what you’re eating, right? Now, what if someone else prepares your meals for you? Have you ever tried to go without GMOs? You’re purchasing the food but if you don’t look hard, you might get one by accident. Now, the prisons and jails often feed hundreds. If they don’t look hard, of just order in bulk whatever is cheap, who knows what the inmates are eating? The easy way would be to make everything acceptable to all religions, but this is expensive and limiting.

        Now, an inmate suspects something is wrong and complains. Who does he complain to? The Warden? You can bet that the inmates will say one thing and the prison will say another. In court, who will believe an inmate?

        It’s like one man told me. It’s only illegal if you get caught.

    3. John McAllister says:

      The SC has ruled that inmates have the right to their religious preference and certain accommodations. In this case, the prison IS in the wrong. Cruz v. Beto, 405 U.S. 319, 322 (1972). States v. Seeger, 380 U.S. 163, 185 (1985).

      The test is set forth in Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78, 89-90 (1987). The only way I know to avoid this is set under Thorneburgh v. Abbott, 490 U.S. 401, 407-08 (1989).

      From what I know of the system, it is probably a joke to these guards and they feel like they are part of the war against terror, seeing all Muslims as terrorists. They’re not. The Muslims I have met have been good men and women who do not harm anyone.

      But, as I recall, Islam does allow it under certain circumstances. For the Hebrew religion, it is forbidden. It is allowed for Christians. It can be allowed, in place of starving, for Muslims. However, this is not a burden for the BOP or even a private prison so they should comply if these men are truly faithful to Islam.

    4. Brad Keene says:

      The local news media in Anchorage reported that while they were given bologna sandwiches that were not pork based but turkey based. I live in Anchorage. Rations were possibly less than desirable after a day long fast, but my understanding is that pork Bologna was not used

    5. Gabriel E Denison (@DenisonMs) says:

      Prisioners are humans, taboo food served intentionally is prejudicial and a violation of human rights.
      With the Justice system in such a message, and more ppl in jail here than any other nation, jails and prisions should be watched for the treatment of prisioners in thier care. The loss of freedom is punishment enough. Anything further is abuse.

  2. Mike Mangikd says:

    Just more proof that we don’t need “prison reform.” We need to do away with prisons altogether. If you think that is too extreme, read how the attitude this article reveals is similar to the events that led directly to the Sepoy Mutiny in 1857.

    1. Joe says:

      I hope you intend to take care of the murderers and rapists at your home. And bring your children and grandchildren over to play with the sex offenders.
      Same deal for the judges that are already practicing catch and release.

      1. John Owens says:

        Those judges and parole boards should have to provide quarters in their own neighborhoods for the people they release.

      2. Father Fred says:

        It’s always fun and games to deal with the deranged, until society casts them on your doorstep and you have to deal with them. This thread has a common concern with the MS13/Animal thread. Anyone want to invite them over for Sunday brunch?

        1. Clyde says:

          Probably. Evidently, they’re more dependable than POTUS45. You do know that MS13 is not a Muslim org,right? You confabulate bigly. (And you call yourself a “Father”? Shame, boy!)

          1. John McAllister says:

            I think Father Fred was referring to MS13’s known violence and implying that others, in this case inmates, could be equally as dangerous.

      3. T'Keren Valmaz says:

        I personally feel we should offer murderers the option of serving in exile in foreign lands combating poachers of endangered animals.Let those that hunger to kill their own kind do so with the added benefit of protecting other precious life.

        Rapists generally face very little actually time for their vile crimes. Conviction let alone strong sentencing is more the stuff of tv dramas, According to an old article I read about 10 years ago written by a former FBI agent only about 5% of all rapes reported reach the conviction stage, and of those only about 2% of them see a sentence of more then 2 years.

        Also approximately 1 in 3 men statistically have committed some form of sexual assault. So every time you are in a group with 3 or more males good odds there is a predator among your ranks.

        As for those mentally ill sufferers of pedophilia I feel they should be lobotomized and chemically castrated for good measure. While extreme it is the most humane course I can imagine for those that would harm the helpless.

        1. John Owens says:

          I sit in awe, T’Keren. I would wholeheartedly support any of the measures you mention here.

          1. Lori Mongillo says:

            Wow! Sounds like a plan.

        2. John McAllister says:

          Rapists generally get off easily because of how the system treats the victims. Basically, the victim is re-victimized by the system in trying to prove she was victimized in the first place. Even Hillary Clinton has done this to get ahead in the game. So, it makes it very hard for the victim to face the pressure of reporting the crime to the police, who may laugh at her or enjoy the story, then go through the media exposure, the courtroom, and then have it tossed out, suggesting she was lying.

          If you go with your statistics, think about this. Who controls most of the system? Men. So, the odds are that a male judge will sit over a case with male jurors, male prosecutor, male defending lawyer, male defendant, male police officers, and male doctors. Now, if one in three have committed some from of sexual assault, do you think they would convict one of their own?

          Something really crappy is that a lot of women, really girls, are taught that they should/must obey the men in their lives. So, if their boyfriend wants sex, and they don’t, this puts the pressure on them to say no. If they don’t, it could still be rape since she didn’t want it but went ahead. If she does, she may lose the man. For a wife, saying no isn’t always acceptable. She may FEEL she has to, at least once a week, when she doesn’t want to. Rather than saying how she feels and working together, she sacrifices herself because of the old ways.

          For the mentally ill who have sexually offended, lobotomies don’t work that well. In fact, the jury is still out. Some say it is great and works and some claim the other. It can also be fatal. With Thorazine, we have a safer way to go, but how do you make sure that an inmate takes it?

          Sadly, chemical castration is a nightmare. We dealt with this in one of my many psychology classes. Just because a man cannot get an erection doesn’t mean he won’t attack someone. Some have even used other things to violate a victim. In a few cases, this led to severe physical damage and even death of the victim. This happens with physical castration as well and even female offenders can employ other methods to harm others.

  3. Atatakai says:

    This is horrific, similar to the prison abuse by American soldiers in Iraq some years ago. This is nothing more than childish, intentionally ignorant actions done by people who should not be in the positions they hold currently. While these are prisoners, they are still human beings, still with religious rights.

    Whatever happened to religious freedom in the US? Obviously these “people” know nothing about Islam nor do they understand what Ramadan is about. Of course, most of the western world knows little to nothing about Islam, except those who actually care about humanity who have taken the time to learn instead of listening to rants by religious bigots.

    1. Jolene says:

      How ignorant can you be?????? Islam was OUTLAWED in this country DECADES AGO. Any Religion that celebrates the killing of Infidels needs to be obliterated. My son in law served in the Army in Iraq. What branch of service did you serve in and what war did you fight in???? Neither….then go to your Special Place and stop interrupting the real adults.

      1. Atatakai says:

        Jolene – Citation for your claim that Islam has been outlawed.

        Do you know who the “infidel” is in Islam? My guess is that you have absolutely no idea and that you think it is anyone who is not Muslim. Am I close?

        Education time: The infidel/kafir in the Qur’an is talking about the invader who would rape, pillage and kill people in their homes. To kill the infidel was to act as a police agency because murder is intolerant in such a culture. Remember, there were no police agencies like the modern world has now. Remember, Muslims worship the same God of Abraham as Christians and Jews.

        What branch did I serve? USAF – Vietnam Era veteran. So, I guess your assumption got you in trouble again, as it does with so many people who assume. Assumption fails about 95% of the time.

        Real adults? Try my being beyond the middle of my 7th decade in the game of life.

        May I suggest taking a class in Islam, or at least Comparative World Religions so you do not cause emotional harm to yourself and others by making inaccurate accusations as you have here.

        1. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp, MSW, LCSW says:

          Atatakai, your points are so well presented and appreciated. It is amazing how certain people down Islam out of ignorance, yet fail to recognize and own facts that their own christian holy book is so full of violence, killing of all ages including children as well as, rape and sex slavery commanded by their masculine deity. I could also hate christians due to their attempts to totally kill off all of my people over a 600 year period who justified their actions with their holy book, but I don’t. I just don’t forget facts. Thanks for helping to shed light on ignorance.

          1. Atatakai says:

            Catherine and Hope –

            Thank you for your compliments. They were not unnoticed.

            When I would teach Comparative World Religions, I would teach all of the religions “from the inside”, stating only the facts and not saying “they believe” which would distance them. When at the end of each unit, I would be asked by at least one student, “How long have you been a ……?” I would ask them if I had ever said I was a …… I told them that, if they wanted to know what my theological beliefs are, theistic and non-theistic, that they could ask me at the END of the 16 weeks. Surprisingly, nobody ever did.

            Ignorance is the main reason why people are divided. Understanding brings people together.

        2. Hope says:

          Bless you and your direct, but not insulting response! It’s refreshing to see some emotional intelligence within a disagreement online. You handled this well.

        3. John McAllister says:

          I didn’t see your citation about Islam being outlawed. Did I miss it?

      2. T'Keren Valmaz says:

        Jolene you speak from a place of ignorance and hate, neither of which is befitting one ordained by the ULC. You dishonor yourself with such comments.

      3. John McAllister says:

        Since when has Islam illegal in the US? If it is, I know several families who are in trouble.

        Infidel basically means “unfaithful” or “unbeliever.” Christians used to use it too. Honestly, it should only be used for Atheists, polytheists, heathens, animists, a pagans. I do hope you understand all of these groups. Still, since most Christians worship Jesus in the Trinity, it could be applied to them. However, as I recall, Jews, Christians, and Muslims (supposedly) all worship the same God, so it doesn’t apply.

        When I was reading the Koran, I didn’t see anything about exterminating all Infidels. In fact, I couldn’t find anything that supports ISIS’ views or even those of other “extremists.” It wasn’t all that different from Christianity, which, by the way, wasn’t very peaceful during the Crusades. If you recall, the Crusades were a time when anyone who wasn’t a Christian was in danger of being killed or converted. And, even after this period, we had the Inquisition where people were tortured, converted, and killed in the Name of God.

        Also, I would like to point out that many men have been in combat and NOT been in a war, technically. For a long time, they called Vietnam a Conflict, not a war. El Salvador was a Civil War where the US supported the Salvadorian government against the communist FMLN. During the Cold War, many men were in harm’s way, with and without combat pay. It has just been lately that everything is a “war.” Reagan started this with his “War on Drugs” and Bush carried it on with the “War on Terror.” Before Ron, we had a “War on Poverty,” which has taken a negative turn with the government all but opening fire on the poor in America. That wasn’t the original intent. We wanted to fight Poverty, not the poor.

    2. John says:

      You mention freedom under a topic regarding prisons. The prisoner gave up all freedoms when found guilty of their crime(s). Being an agent under the government, the prison is under no obligation to discern one faith from another due to the separation of church and state.

      1. T'Keren Valmaz says:

        That is not how our legal system nor constitution work. A prisoner is not stripped of all their rights. They are limited yes, Some denied them until they return to society and behave long enough to apply for pardons to have them returned. But those that we as citizens of the U.S. hold most sacred such as our right of religious freedom may never be denied us in a civilized and understanding society.

      2. John McAllister says:

        Actually, there is something called Constitutional Law that deals with a person’s right. The Supreme Court has ruled that a prisoner has some protection even in prison.

        The only religions I know that hasn’t been protected is satanism. And, even here, I believe that the Church of Satan, founding in 1966 by Anton LaVey, has some protections that others don’t because it is considered a formal religion and doesn’t practice human or animal sacrifices like other groups do. Likewise, Voodoo (in its various spellings) and other religions that do have blood sacrifices are restricted in this way or not recognized as a religion by the government.

        Separation of Church and State doesn’t apply in this area. It only applies when the religion tries to interfere with the government or vice versa, such as posting the Decalogue in a Courtroom. Given that most of our laws come from this anyway, there is a twisted irony here.

    3. John McAllister says:

      Where I was raised, Islam is evil and condemned. Nothing new, really. If you won’t worship Jesus, you’re in trouble. So, what most people hear about Islam is the worst possible. Few have met a Muslim let alone talked with one. In my experience, a Christian and a Muslim have more in common than a Christian and a Jew. Yet, which is more accepted?

      Actually, the similarities are really good. My guess is that these guards are taking out their stress on these Muslims in the same way and see it as patriotic. If the Muslim has killed someone, then he is a terrorist who wasn’t caught in the act. So, they add their own punishment. Some officers on the street do the same thing.

      1. Atatakai says:

        John – One of the difficulties is that as children, we are taught many inaccuracies. It is really a shame because it is that issue which causes division and makes our living our lives more miserable.

        Remember one thing regarding the Iraq war issue: They were Iraqi soldiers. We do not KNOW if they were Muslim or not. Remember that in Iraq, there are Muslims, Jews, Zoroastrians and Christians.

        Thank you, John, for your input.

        1. John McAllister says:

          So true.

          We face off with another person we know nothing about. All we know is that he is told to kill us and we are told to kill him. It is only after one of us is down that we may learn more about him, if he is indeed a him.

          With Iraq, at least in the past, it was political. Today, it seems to have focused on religious. Christian v. Muslim. Yet, both sides have the same mixture of religions fighting for them, politically.

          If we, the US, invade Iraq, they see us as invaders and fight back. Maybe they think we want to wipe out Islam, maybe they don’t. I know many think that Islam wants to wipe out Christians and Jews, and anyone who is called an “infidel.”

          Ah, divisions. It reminds me of the reason I left my family’s church. A Black family came in one Sunday. Our church was all white, which I never thought of before this instance. They were of the same group only a different church in another state. They had to sit in the back, last ones in and first ones out. Why were they different?

          Maybe, one day, we’ll see things are they are, not how they have been.

  4. Rev. Rene L. says:

    Another example of people ” in power” positions abusing the privilege. Has nobody ever heard of the “Stanford experiment,” where the “guards” abused the “inmates” within days, just because now they could! And would one not train officers, and include this as a warning not to go there ever, or lose your job!!! Even if this is ( I do not know if it is state, federal, or a private by contract jail) a “for-profit” jail it has to abide by rules and standards, criminals are still human and the guards also must retain their own humanity!!!

    1. John McAllister says:

      Yes, one of my first psych classes mentioned the Standford Experiment. The other day, mentioning this, I was informed that they are claiming, now, that this whole thing was faked. I haven’t found proof of this yet, but you might want to check.

      However, what I have seen, the Standford Experiment is valid. The firearm and badge tend to change the way people think and act, just like how the position of guard or inmate changed the way people acted.

      There is a problem with retaining your humanity in a group. In the “us v them” of law enforcement, it is easy to get swallowed up and fall in since you depend so much on your brother officers. It is almost like a Cult.

  5. Joe says:

    Boo hoo to any prisoner having a bad day.
    We just lost an Public servant to a criminal with over 100 criminal counts against him. This is only the most recent of many such tragedies
    We need to isolate these animals and they deserve no special treatment.

    1. Atatakai says:

      Joe – are you going to eliminate the possibility of rehabilitation for anyone in prison? Do you think one’s rights can be taken away because you just happen to be a religious bigot, for example? If YOU were a prisoner and had Type 2 Diabetes, for example, and all they would give you is ice cream and cake, is that fine with you? This is pretty much what you are claiming. “Tough luck, kid. You broke the law, so you can’t have any say with anything. Maybe they should beat you, too, just as long as you get up in a couple of days. That is Biblical, after all.”

    2. T'Keren Valmaz says:

      Joe being treated humanely and civilly is not special treatment. And your word usage shows you to be one that feels dehumanizing others is acceptable to you. How would you like it if such was applied to you and yours for any reason? Be it your faith, local culture, skin color, or an act made in a desperate and dire moment?

      Remember a great many incarcerated have been proven innocent after the passage of years, many more are imprisoned because of being pressured into plea deals even when innocent by over worked public defenders. Our system frequently locks up people that were no threat to others but will be when finally released as prison acts as a college in stepping up in crime, often because its only by joining a prison gang faction that will offer any sort of protection while locked away from the society we should be wanting to rehabilitate them to return to as sane and civil people.

  6. James says:

    So does faith matter ? What about the faith this country was founded on? Tax payers are getting tired of paying for criminals… We have too many incarcerated for too long. It is too expensive. Religion or no. Everyone eats the same Wears the same. Sleeps the same. Time to get midevil on life sentences/death sentences. No more making civil case, or misdemeanor case. Max of 7 years. Just remove privileges for non violate things. And much worse for other crimes. This country must have a course correction. We are living outside of our means.

    1. Atatakai says:

      James — If you are talking about the US, it was not based on Christianity. It is a sectarian government, constructed by Christians, Deists and even Atheists. Something about religious freedom, not based on a particular religion. Even the framework of the Constitution was taken from the Confederacy of the Five Great Nations of the Iroquois tribes, not Abrahamic faith.

  7. Rev Wayne Stevens says:

    Yes but don’t you lose your constitutional rights if you’re imprisoned in the State of Florida at least you’re not even allowed to vote even if your other prisoner and serve your prison sentence from where I understand if you’re placed in prison you’re no longer a person or citizen I don’t know I’m not trying to be difficult I’m just trying to rationalize things out as they really are

    1. Atatakai says:

      Wayne – Yes, there are some rights one loses after being convicted of a felony, however, your right to be treated humanely is NOT one of them.

    2. T'Keren Valmaz says:

      You are always a citizen and very much have rights still. No state has the right to strip anyone of the most basic and sacred rights we all hold dear. Among those our unifying right of religious freedom. Religion in fact is one of the few aspects of their life as a prisoner that can help remind them of their humanity and the society we endeavor to teach them to respect and want to return to as useful people.

      By your way of thinking we may as well make death the only sentence for any sort of crime.

  8. ronald wolfe says:

    although i do not agree with the conduct of this prison, i have spent time in prison and in my state the muslim prisoners get many priveledges the christian prisoners do not and they use their religion to get extra priveledges, most were not muslim when they came into prison and only converted or say they converted to get those extra prieledges, i personally witnessed many so called muslim prisoners toss there ( Kufee?? not sure that is the correct word or spelling of the cap they wear) into the garbage as they left once paroled . i also witnessed many sneaking meals and snacks all day during ramadan then having a great feast at night better food then any of the non muslims ever recieved however their faith did not prevent them from eating a good turkey meal with the christians when it was served for christmas??? and due to then muslims protests christmas decorations and christmas trees were not allowed in the prison at all. christians were not even allowed to display christmas cards yet muslims were given special feasts and were allowed to show their art and cards> I do not agree with giving pork or going against these prisoners rights but lets not put our heads in the sand and believer that they are being treated as badly as reported, i have never been in alaska but i do know their are more make believe muslim prisoners then those who actually practice the fait.

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      It doesn’t seem likely that most convicts are very religious people. But then again, what do I know? I thought they’d be feeding Alaskan prisoners polar bears, moose’s, and salmon.

      1. John A Anderson, CD says:

        Carl, plural of moose is moose, as it’s a member of the deer family.

        1. Lori Mongillo says:

          I’ll bet he knew that.

  9. Joe says:

    Damn straight!
    Beating however is unnecessary and would require extra effort so no.

  10. Maraya Perez-Sonntag says:

    As a Tsalagi (Cherokee) and a minister, I am appalled at some of the comments here. White privilege has been around a long time in MY COUNTRY. Natives, such as myself, are treated not well in YOUR PRISON SYSTEM. Yet, I believe all should be treated humanely. I don’t eat pork. But, if I was forced to, I would raise Hellfire. Respect is respect. Everyone deserves that. Everyone.

    1. Jolene says:

      This country is a basket case NOT because of White people but because of Liberal mental illness and all the I Count You Don’t attitudes of those younger than 45. I understand what is now was first inhabited by those from mexico and by those who crossed the long gone land bridge so technically this land belongs to no people but animals.

      1. Atatakai says:

        Jolene – What is so terrible about caring deeply for fellow sentient beings? I do not see being liberal as a mental illness but having a kind heart. I do not know of many so-called liberals who are playing the “Me me me” game. I find those more in the Conservative camp, wanting their tax breaks and not caring about the poor, the unhealthy, or downtrodden.

        You do know, Jolene, that people are also animals, right?

      2. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp, MSW, LCSW says:

        Seriously Jolene, where do you get your info about our people coming over a land bridge? That is total ignorance and has been disputed by white archaeologists for decades. Our people have always been here and white people try to justify their racist, entitled behavior by implying that this land is not ours. Guess what, this is Indian County, always was and always will be whether you like it or not. Refrain from trying to tell a Tsalagi where we come from. That is an insult and disrespectful on your part because you are misinformed. Wado Maraya.

        1. Rev. Rene L. says:

          Kind of a specious point there, after all we humans initially came from a super-continent of which Africa is now believed to be the cradle of “humanity”. So as a genetic group we are all humans, and all the same before whichever deity you prefer to believe in. And treating people badly reduces our own humanity and dignity, so please leave the argument of “he got more as a temp. mohammedan alone and get on with being better humans instead of complaining!

      3. T'Keren Valmaz says:

        Funny the only mental illness I am noticing atm is your likely case of dementia not to mention blatant bigotry.

    2. Carl Elfstrom says:

      Don’t forget, y’all lost the war. Would y’all like to take us on again? Sounds like too much peyote, and buffalo chips.

      1. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp, MSW, LCSW says:

        Carl, you do jest….you cannot be serious. Peyote is not a part of our tradition as it is a southwest plant and southwest Native tradition. Lost what war?? Buffalo chips??? Come on man, are buffalo indigenous to the southeast??? You are being too hilarious!

    3. bob says:

      RESPECT!? Let’s be fair and objective. What respect did the prisoners show their victims? Huh?

      1. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp, MSW, LCSW says:

        Interesting question bob…what were they convicted of, do you know? Please let us know…who were the victims and what were the crimes?

    4. Aqilah Jackson says:

      A’ho. I agree with you. Many of these opinions here are not from any faith I know. What happened to help those in need, charity and compassion. To want for your brother as you want for yourself…these statements here diminish my hope…and what is anyone without hope ?

  11. Joe says:

    The cost of arresting and convicting a criminal when ( yes when) they re-offend far outweighs the cost of keeping them where they belong.
    There should be more consideration for victims and less for thugs.

    1. T'Keren Valmaz says:

      Joe you sire continue to posts statements that fly in the face of the values we ordained by the ULC are to uphold. You dishonor yourself with such vile words

  12. John Owens says:

    I don’t eat pork either, but if someone serves pork and no other meat, I will eat bread or pasta or veggies and be satisfied. There is no law saying convicts are entitled to meat.

    1. John A Anderson, CD says:

      I know in Canada, they ARE entitled to a full set of nutrients. The best protein source for humans IS meat. There’s only ONE prison on the continent where you can be sentenced to bread, water, and nutritional supplements, and that’s the CF Detention Barracks in CFB Edmonton, and even there, you get protein from meat, although it’s bone meal in the nutritional supplement. Thankfully, I’m no longer subject to the possibility of that punishment, since my release.

    2. T'Keren Valmaz says:

      There is laws however entitling them to their religion being respected and taken into account, its no great or terrible burden to have a few alternate meal options for them. Remember prison is a for profit industry that should not be allowed every bit of that profit should be taken and used to improve prison conditions and the noble goal of rehabilitation.

    3. John Owens says:

      I don’t know about most people who keep halal or kosher, but if I eat pork, even a small amount, it will be as I took a very potent laxative for the next two days. Flesh is the only single source that contains all of the amino acids we need, but it is possible to get them from various sources. Yes, I love beef, and lamb, and fish with scales (off course I don’t eat them WITH the scales). But, if I were imprisoned, rightly or falsely, I would not expect to be getting a lot of meat. Still, I personally would never knowingly serve pork to a person who does not eat pork, any more than I would use peanut oil to cook for someone I know has a severe allergy to peanuts.

      1. T'Keren Valmaz says:

        Bloody Hell Owens you are starting to sound terribly reasonable to me. Did I step into mirrorverse? Is this the dimension where spock has a goatee?

        1. John Owens says:

          T’keren, I suspect that in some ways, we are more alike than different. Even if we are very different in many respects, still, sensible is sensible, no matter from whence it comes. If we weren’t so busy sparring or just jabbing at one another, we might find common ground, but only if both parties are willing at the same time.

      2. John McAllister says:

        The problem here is that most guards, and police officers, assume that the inmate is lying. It doesn’t help that some do play the religious card when it helps them or makes things difficult for the system. It is like the endless lawsuits that they can file. Some may even think that it’s funny or punishing to force them to eat pork, or even peanuts, just to see what happens.

        I remember reading one article where a man stated, during interrogation, that he threatened to inject a Muslim with pig’s blood. Was it real blood or not? Did he actually do it? Many also talk about spraying pig’s blood in Muslims to hurt them. This type of hatred isn’t just outside of the system.

  13. Mary Krantz says:

    We’ve lost so much in the last two years. Anything goes anymore. We are so far removed from any goodness and common decency. I’m saddened that so many people have chosen to allow hatred to spread then use the bible or religion as an excuse. Isn’t the Bible and religion for teaching love? Love thy neighbor as thyself? We’ve been given permission to say or do anything anymore by leaders of this country.
    We’ve given away our respect and decency. Eventually, our eyes will be opened and we will see where the mindlessness has led us. When we allow others to lead us without using our heads, they do take over completely.

  14. Rev J says:

    Hi All,
    In Jesus time Jewish law was very clear and death was the allowed outcome for certain offenses. It was carried out by the aggrieved tribal family not by authorities. It was also very simple in that it was an eye for and eye, a tooth for a tooth etc. So in the confines of today’s societal practices we are much better with prisons than letting families carry put sentences like the above. If one does get to prison that yes you lose all rights and are at the mercy of the state. If you do not want this to happen to you then obey the law and do not place you freedom in jeopardy. This is your choice as a citizen of where ever you may reside. So choose wisely and make your life your way. Choose badly and guess what the payers of your stay will choose your way. So be it if you make bad choices. If you do not like the system you are currently living in, then leave it and either find one that meets your needs or carve out your own society, in your own area, and with your own standards. Just remember that if you step outside your own boundaries and threaten your neighbors they will then ensure you are placed back into your own confines or they will completely destroy you and your system.

    1. T'Keren Valmaz says:

      Eye for an eye was not jewish law. You seem confused. And why mention Jesus at all? You seem to have some very deranged thoughts. Frankly maybe it is people like yourself that need to be completely destroyed. Then you dont have to worry or be a threat to others win win for all right?

  15. Mrs. Lisa Callejas says:

    This is immoral and inhumane treatment criminal or not.

  16. Barb Lanier says:

    I am so tired of all this hatred and the justification of it. I don’t feel that the majority of people in this world understand that love and hate are attitudes and every other emotion falls under one of those. Every choice and every judgment we make falls under one or
    the other love or hate. We all need to take a look at ourselves and pull the splinter out of our own eyes and do onto others as he would have done to us.

  17. sheryl clyde says:

    I wish people would respect others even if they are in prison. Christ said Matthew 25:31-46 NKJV you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me So yes Christ looks at how we treat prisoners because under other circumstances it could have been one of us in there.We are all sinners so no one has a right to stick their nose in the air.

  18. Mary says:

    There are so many alternatives to feeding prisoners. If eating pork is forbidden in their religion, respect that and offer alternatives. One doesn’t have to treat prisoners inhumanly. Remember the Golden Rule. It is the same in all religions.

    1. Alicia Szot says:

      It’s not “inhumane”. They are offered food. They went against their “peaceful religion” when they committed the crimes, so they can “suffer” through a ham sandwich.

      1. T'Keren Valmaz says:

        That is in violation of our laws, thus those giving them the ham sandwich became law breakers the moment they did so. The way you talk you must think the raping and abuse of inmates is acceptable.

  19. Bill Fox says:

    Other than being careful where one commits crimes and becomes incarcerated, I suggest picking non-pork items to eat on ham day.

  20. Jeff says:

    The guards should not intentionally alter the menus so that Muslims would have to eat pork but then they should not alter a scheduled menu so that they do not have to eat pork. They broke the law, they no longer have the right of self determination.

  21. Tom says:

    Ha ha. They should sneak bacon bits in their food.

    1. T'Keren Valmaz says:

      and would in ding so be criminals themselves. So you feel its acceptable to break the law to abuse others?

  22. Tikkun Olam Reb TK says:

    Not acceptable. When a person is taken into custody, be it a child into care, or an adult into care or into custody for crimes committed, there is an obligation on the part of the custodians for that person’s care and well being and that includes health care, welfare, and spiritual care and well being.
    What happened here was nothing more than degradation with a poor argument about the budget and what one deserves when one is in custody.
    Not acceptable.

  23. jesse says:

    Muslims are allowed to eat food that is not Halal and not standard to their beliefs when not in their home land according to the koran, double standard here, if muslims are not allowed to be where pork has been served or butchered, what business do they have in the pork flowing nation of america? pork is every where in america, even in the sewers and even in the treated drinking water,

  24. Judy Riggenbach says:

    This is a disgrace to the country, to any Christian and to any good person. As Americans and as Christians or just as religious people we have an obligation to respect every religious belief especially if we expect our to be equally respected. That means you do not force people to go against their religious practices . were they stuck on some desert island with nothing els available it would be a different situation but this is a country where we have an abundance of things available. we cannot claim to be American . Christian , or free thinking people of faith and condone such behavior!
    IF you condemn Islam for its extremests you must condemn every religion equally because they all ave dangerous extremests , the Knghts of Colombus swear to disembowel pregnant non Catholic women Took around you are you judging because you know the facts of the religion or because of what you have read in newspapers and heard by word of mouth Try being better informed about anyone or anything you condemn than the general population, especially as you have set yourself up as a religious leader.

    1. T'Keren Valmaz says:

      Well said Judy

    2. John McAllister says:

      Mrs. Riggenbach,

      Do you have a copy of this oath? It may be part of a KKK myth that was started against Catholics.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knights_of_Columbus

      Alas, for all that Christians have claimed, they have been a major oppressing force in the religious world. There are still many who condemn those who are different in the name of God. Many abuse the system in the Name of God also. Aren’t we taught to judge a man by his actions, not his clothing and looks?

  25. Tom says:

    There are enough foods that do not go against any religion…they should be available to the inmates, period…Peace…Tom

  26. Professor says:

    The Prison System is just another corrupt institution who love Mamon over God. “To the least of these” means nothing to the sons of Satan.

  27. Tom says:

    Joseph…why have i not received any comments on any of the posts in a week?…thank you…Tom

    1. Universal Life Church Ministries says:

      Tom, not sure what your question is referring to. Do you mean you’re not getting notifications for new comments?

      1. Tom says:

        Joseph…sorry, i just saw your prompt response…yes; i am not getting notifications of new comments (or anything else from the ULC)…i will appreciate your rectifying this situation, as it continues up to the time of this comment…thanks very much…Tom

  28. ProtectLives says:

    1. Drop your religion for 1 hour.
    2. Eat your fill yummy yummy
    3. ‘repent’ and return to your religion of choice.

    Mythology does not have to be a single topic.

    You can learn Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

    You do not have to ‘give up’ Calculus to study economics.

    If you want to be a Hindu-Muslim-Hebrew-Buhddist – you are allowed to do that.

    You are a living agent of FREE WILL and have the RIGHT to change your mythology as you see fit.

    Why would you Allow anyone to tell you otherwise ? That’s worshipping a human, which is idolatry.

    Oh, and if you Do want to worship idols, consider worshipping Trees ?

    At least Trees make oxygen for you to stay alive.

    There is absolutely no reason
    anyone should restrict their learning to just one mythology.

  29. Clyde says:

    Let’s just say it: The corrupt, sadistic pigs who did this should be fined, fired, and forever forgotten!
    Forcing anyone to do anything against their religion is a pile of pooo heaped over the US Contitution’s First Amendment. Any creepazoids like that dehumanize themselves as they deny the basic civil rights of all things American, even in prison! It takes a pig to force someone to eat it!

  30. Eric F. says:

    For those of you who claim that the Muslim inmates would starve to death if not offered other food choices, perhaps a little reading is in order.

    It is permissible for whoever does not find food to eat and fears to die–whether he is in the desert or else– to eat pork just to allay his hunger and save himself from death. The evidence about this is the saying of Allaah (which means): {He has forbidden you only the dead animals, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allaah (or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., on which Allaah’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering).But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], there is no sin upon him. Truly, Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.}[Quran 2:173] Allaah also Says (what means): {…while He has explained in detail to you what He has forbidden you, excepting that to which you are compelled.}[Quran 6:119]

    Just something to think about.

    1. jesse says:

      BIBLE correction, Thou shall not eat boar, nothing about pork, Jesus claimed ALL food good, muslims see Jesus as a prophet so why can they not see him as the son of God?

      1. Atatakai says:

        Jesse- They perceive God (the God of Abraham) as being “all mighty”, so why would he need or want a “son”? Yes, they see Jesus as the greatest prophet ever, even above Muhammad AND they see him as a savior, but to have him as “God’s only child” seems ridiculous to the Muslim.

        They might ask you the opposite: Why do YOU see Jesus as the son of God, yet not claim yourself as ALSO the son of God?

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