Mincy v. Deparlos (3rd Cir. 2012): Ramadan Meals for Prisoners

Plaintiff Hilton Karriem Mincy, a Muslim prisoner at the Lycoming County Prison, brought this suit against the Respondents – the county prison, the prison warden and other prison officials – alleging that the prison’s inadequate food service during Ramadan, which included no hot meals at the end of the day and evening meals of insufficient caloric content to compensate for the absence of a daytime meal, constituted a failure to accommodate his religious beliefs and a violation of the RLUIPA. The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania entered summary judgment in favor of the Respondents, and the Plaintiff appealed. The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the District Court. The Court of Appeals determined that the Plaintiff identified no official policy promulgated by the prison administration which violated his constitutional rights, and there was no evidence to suggest that any named Respondent played a direct role or had any personal involvement in the preparation or storage of food.

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