Muslim Inmates Sue Over Forced Forbidden Foods

August 12, 2002

Source: The Associated Press

On August 12, 2002 the The Associated Press reported that "two Muslim inmates are suing Santa Barbara County, alleging they were forced to eat food forbidden by their religion while in custody. Stacy Trotter, 25, and Arvan Washington, 37, claim in their lawsuit that the jail's food policies denied them their First Amendment rights by preventing them from practicing their faith. About half a dozen inmates request specially prepared foods at any given time, said Sgt. Phil Willis, spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department. The jail provides more than 2,500 meals a day to its 1,000 inmates. 'It would be a financial burden to meet every whimsical request,' said Willis."