Garraway v. Lappin (M.D. Pa. 2012): Prisoner's Right to Free Exercise

Plaintiff Mitchell Theophilus Garraway filed an action against the Respondent, a Lewisburg penitentiary, for a claimed violation of RLIUPA. The Plaintiff alleged that various Federal Bureau of Prisons rules and policies severely and unnecessarily burden his right to private religious exercise of his Islamic faith. The Plaintiff cited, among other reasons, that the prison did not make the chapel available to all Muslims to congregate for Friday prayer, and also placed other restrictions on Muslims’ ability to perform all their prayers together as one group. The District Court decided that the penitentiary had a legitimate governmental interest—the need to maintain order and security—that was rationally connected to the policy regarding congregation for prayer. 

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