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Old 11-14-2015, 08:24 AM
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Hi there, federal law does protect an individuals right to practice their native religion in prison unless doing so would create a security or health and safety risk for the prison or cause concerns for the prison or other inmates.
Prison policies on sweat lodges are mixed,many prisons that allow them and see the benefits for calming inmates and allowing religious and spirtual expression. However those that do not state health and safety as the reason.
There was a case where a prison in Missouri banned sweat lodges this was challenged and this was up held in court.The case was Fowler v Crawford it was upheld as a security risk to allow inmates access to hot rocks ,lit embers scalding rocks and shovels. Also the lack of supervision within the lodge.
Therefore the prison do not have to allow a sweat lodge and they do not have to ban them either its a decision for the individual so there is hope.
Your partner could do down the formal grievance route and see what happens or your partner could enter a collective grievance with other Native inmates.

I know when I did this research for my loved one his institution did eventually allow sweat lodges. So its worth trying. Good luck.
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Last edited by maytayah; 11-14-2015 at 08:27 AM..
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