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Lawsuit over prison menu has been settled

An Ohio judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Muslim inmate who sued the prison system last year for serving pork, a food forbidden by his faith. In an order filed last week, U.S. District Court Michael H. Watson dismissed the case after hearing from the involved attorneys that the matter has been settled.

“Details of the settlement announced Wednesday weren’t released. The inmate’s lawyer would not comment,” said Dick Isler, executive director of the Ohio Pork Producers Council. “JoEllen Smith, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said no policy changes have been made regarding food preparation. Both sides anticipated making the settlement final in about 45 days.”

The suit was filed last fall by Abdul-Hamead Awkal because the prison didn’t offer him halal food options, noting that the system offered Jewish prisoners kosher items. Ohio’s prison system responded by removing pork.

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