Inmates sue Greene County sheriff, deputies for religious discrimination

Aug 12, 2013

Greene County Jail
Credit Greene County

Six Muslim inmates held in the Greene County jail have filed a federal complaint against the sheriff and other deputies, claiming religious discrimination.

The Springfield News-Leader reports the inmates say in a handwritten complaint filed July 24 in federal court that they've been denied congregational prayer, access to religious materials and sufficient space for daily prayers.

The men are seeking $20 million in damages under the Civil Rights Act, and the Religious Land Use & Institutionalized Persons Act. The inmates are representing themselves in the lawsuit.

Sheriff Jim Arnott declined to address specific allegations, but says he's not aware of anything that would keep the inmates from practicing their religion. He also says there are Qurans at the jail and alternative food choices are available for inmates of various religions.