Inquiry prompts Virginia prisons to change religious rules
The Department of Corrections is ending a requirement that group-worship activities accommodate a minimum of five inmates
RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia prisons are relaxing some of their restrictions on group worship activities and providing religiously compliant meals to inmates following a federal investigation.
The Department of Justice announced a settlement Monday with Virginia over an inquiry into whether the Department of Corrections was violating a federal law protecting the religious rights of inmates and other institutionalized persons.
Under the agreement, the Department of Corrections is ending a requirement that group-worship activities accommodate a minimum of five inmates. It also eliminates some rules making it harder for inmates to receive meals that accommodate religious needs.
A Department of Corrections spokeswoman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Earlier this year, a coalition of Muslim groups complained to prison officials about a lack of food and water for inmates observing Ramadan.