LOS ANGELES—Today, the ACLU Foundation of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) sent a letter to Sheriff John Scott requesting an end to the Los Angeles Sheriff Department’s (LASD) current practice of denying Muslim inmates access to congregational prayer.
“Our right to religious expression is guaranteed in our Constitution,” said Jessica Price, staff attorney at ACLU SoCal. “Other inmates are allowed to attend congregational prayer. Refusing to allow Muslims to pray in a group, while allowing other inmates to engage in group prayer, is offensive and discriminatory.”
Last year, ACLU SoCal and more than 30 religious leaders from different faith communities, wrote former Sheriff Baca expressing the same concern. Sheriff Baca ignored the letter. Muslims continue to be denied access to Jumu’ah services, a weekly congregational prayer which takes place every Friday.
The letter states that if the Sheriff’s Department does not allow Muslims to gather for prayers on an equal basis with inmates of other religions, ACLU SoCal will consider litigation.
Download ACLU SoCal's demand letters (.pdf) to LASD
- March 28, 2014
- November 11, 2013
- January 27, 2012
See the ACLU SoCal video with testimonies by a former L.A. County Jail inmate and concerned faith leaders: https://www.aclusocal.org/right2pray