Akbar v. Borgen (E.D. Wis 1992): Prison Religious Accommodation Claim

Muslim inmate Imam Abd’Allah Halim Abdul Akbar (aka Phillip M. Hudson) sued several prison officials under §1983, alleging a violation of his First Amendment free exercise rights. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the prison denied his attempts to start a Muslim inmate group. The prison officials argued that the denial resulted from the plaintiff’s failure to follow the proper procedures for creating such a group. The Court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant, concluding that the prison did not deprive the plaintiff of his ability to practice his religion and that the regulations governing creation of inmate groups were consistent with legitimate penological objectives of preventing gang activity and maintaining order in the prison population. 

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