ST. LOUIS (CN) - An inmate who prison officials said is linked to white supremacist groups has won a federal lawsuit seeking kosher meals because he says he is Jewish.
Norman Lee Toler, serving 10 years in the Northeast Correctional Center in Bowling Green, Mo., for statutory rape, claimed Missouri violated his civil rights by not accommodating his religion.
Prison officials said Toler was caught with white supremacist literature and pictures of Adolf Hitler while jailed in Illinois for robbery and that he got a jailhouse tattoo of the Nazi S.S.
Judge Jean C. Hamilton ruled in Toler's favor and gave the parties until June to negotiate a reasonable option.
"Defendants did not determine how much it would cost either to create a kosher kitchen, or to provide Toler with pre-packaged kosher meals," Hamilton wrote. "Nor did they determine whether they could provide Toler with kosher food from the prison canteen."
Prison officials argued that providing such meals would be costly and unsafe. Brian Hauswirth, a Corrections Department spokesman, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Toler would not be getting kosher food right away. "We will respond," he said, "but we are still considering our options."
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