Prison Officials Can be Sued for Ban on Native American Ritual

July 21, 2021, 11:50 PM

Colorado prison officials who banned Native American religious services and the use of tobacco in those services cannot use qualified immunity to shield themselves from a lawsuit brought by a prisoner alleging that they deprived him of his religious rights, the Tenth Circuit ruled Wednesday.

Charles Lamont Williams, who practices a Native American religion that uses tobacco in sweat lodges, sued after prison officials initiated a 30-day ban on the practice.

Prison officials had restrictions on where prisoners could use tobacco for religious services. They issued the 30-day ban on the use of tobacco for religious services after finding and ...

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