A Faribault man who is Jewish and has said that he was forced to eat non-kosher foods while in a South Dakota prison. The man, James Dale, will get his day in court this September.

Dale, according to the Rapid City Journal, did two tours inside South Dakota prisons. Dale was incarcerated in the prisons in Springfield and Sioux Falls between 2002 and 2017. Dale was convicted of felony burglary in Codington County and then a subsequent parole violation. According to court documents, back home in Minneapolis, Dale attended a synagogue and kept a kosher home, meaning he ate foods prepared according to Jewish laws.

While Dale was at Mike Durfee State Prison in Springfield, Dale says cook staff with CBM Correctional Food Services provided a supposedly kosher meal comprising rice with pork flavoring and byproducts (pork is strictly prohibited in a kosher diet). He also alleges the kitchen was not certified by a Rabbi, and food service workers told him they used knives for swine to cut his food.

The trial by jury will focus on the lone remaining charge that Dale had his First Amendment Right to freely practice his religion violated by the improperly prepared kosher meals. 

On Sept. 18 at 9 a.m. CT in a Sioux Falls federal courtroom, Dale's civil rights action against CBM Correctional Food Services will go to trial before a jury.

According to the Religious Land Use Institutionalized Persons Act law signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 2000, religious accommodations, such as dietary restrictions, should be reasonably provided to inmates. Federal courts are divided on how extensive these diets should be accommodated. A dwindling number of states do not offer kosher meals.

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