Religious Accommodation in Institutions and Halal Food Federal Expansion Project

Islam in Prisons
Islam is significantly represented in prisons nationwide, in part due to conversion in prisons and because of disproportionate policing rates of Black and brown communities. Despite a large portion of Muslim inmates, they must fight tooth and nail to practice basic tenets of their faith including, but certainly not limited to, eating halal meals. This places Muslim inmates who believe they must eat a diet which regularly consists of halal meat in an impossible situation. We anticipate that the Organization, IFANCA, and any other partners will be successful in (1) creating broader awareness and buy-in of the problem, and (2) establishing positive legal precedent which will facilitate the availability of halal meals in prisons. 

The Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) is one of the few organizations across the nation that provides legal representation to Muslim inmates seeking to practice their religious beliefs as guaranteed by the Constitution. Unfortunately, prison officials often respond to requests for halal meals by stating that no vendor exists or that it is too costly. Our proposal aims to address these problems and create a practical solution.



With our extensive experience working in this space, we have identified a significant demand for halal meals, but little knowledge of readily available supply. Therefore, we plan to raise awareness about this issue among prison officials and the community at large. By doing so, we aim to eliminate one of the major hurdles faced when providing halal meals.

Our efforts will include engaging in discussions with halal food vendors who contract with universities or hospitals – institutions with potentially comparable numbers of people to feed but different concerns. We believe that such collaborations can help us identify existing vendors who can provide halal meals at affordable prices.

Additionally, we intend to highlight the food insecurity experienced by Muslim inmates and leverage this information when arguing for appropriate funds from legislators and those responsible for setting prison budgets. It is essential that we emphasize the importance of providing halal meals as part of an inmate’s religious practices and ensure that they receive equal treatment under the law.

Overall, our proposal seeks to address a critical issue faced by many incarcerated Muslims while also promoting greater inclusivity within correctional facilities. With your support, we are confident that we can create meaningful change and uphold the constitutional rights of all Americans.