CLCMA Provides Inmate Assistance on Religious Accommodations

Among the many legal services that CLCMA provides, one service is what we refer to as “jail mail.” As the name suggests, inmates in prisons across the country send letters to this law firm asking to learn more about the services we provide, to request an application, and to describe their legal matter in the hope that they can receive assistance. These letters are received by our Case Intake Specialist who reads through each of them and responds accordingly. Weekly, our office receives anywhere from five to 15 letters, which are comprised of various legal issues, from habeas corpus cases, to matters that fall under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) – such as problems with adequate halal food substitution and other religious accommodations.

For those issues that fall within our mission to litigate cases where the constitutional rights of Muslims have been violated by the government, the Intake Specialist will take the appropriate steps to assist the inmate in getting the help they need by, for example, sending an application to the inmate, detailing the steps needed to exhaust the administrative process, providing referrals, and sending all documents to one of our departments depending on whether the issue raised by the inmate is a criminal, civil, and/or immigration matter. The volume of jail mail we receive is constant, but we always look forward to helping out our incarcerated brothers and sisters, whenever and however we can.