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Alaska reaches settlement in case brought by Muslim inmates

By BECKY BOHRER
Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – The Alaska Department of Corrections has agreed to changes to accommodate Muslim inmates.

A federal judge Friday signed the agreement in a case brought on behalf of two Muslim inmates, who argued that meals provided during the holy month of Ramadan didn’t meet caloric requirements under federal health guidelines, were cold and sometimes contained pork at odds with their faith.

The department agreed to provide inmates fasting during Ramadan at least 3,000 average daily calories and at least two hot meals without pork.

Muslim inmates also will be allowed to gather for prayers and services.

The department agreed to pay $102,500 in damages, costs and attorneys’ fees.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Gadeir Abbas says with these policies, Alaska would be a model for how correctional institutions should accommodate Muslims in their facilities.

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