Lindh v. Warden (S.D. Ind. 2013): Prison Accommodations

Plaintiff John Walker Lindh, a convicted "American Taliban," challenged prison policies that allowed for individual prayer in cells, but banned group congregation for prayer due to "security concerns." The Plaintiff sued the warden of the Federal Correctional Institution of Terre Haute, Indiana, alleging violations of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The District Court found that the Plaintiff did have sincerely held religious beliefs, and therefore turned its inquiry to whether the ban on group prayer furthers the compelling interest of security and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest. The District Court ultimately determined that the warden-Respondent failed to establish that the total ban on daily congregational prayer by the Plaintiff was the least restrictive means of meeting the warden's security concerns.

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