Saturday, August 8, 2015

Native American claims religious right to use peyote while incarcerated in Indiana

By Kristine Guerra

INDIANA---A former Indiana inmate is claiming that prison officials violated his religious liberty when they did not allow him to use peyote, a kind of hallucinogen used in religious ceremonies by Native Americans, while he was incarcerated at Pendleton Correctional Facility. The federal lawsuit filed by Galen Freeman, who claims to be Native American, raises questions about whether prison officials’ safety and security concerns should trump an inmate’s religious rights. Freeman alleged violation of the First Amendment and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, or RLUIPA, a law that protects the religious rights of prisoners in facilities that receive federal money. [link]