Typically, Kosher offerings are reserved for Jewish inmates with pertinent religious beliefs. However, some state prison systems have seen an unusual surge in Kosher meal requests ever since their introduction, leading to budgetary concerns. This is particularly true in Florida.
Why? Well, it costs about $7 per day for three Kosher meals in the Florida prison system, while standard prison food is $1.54 per day. California’s Kosher options also have a hefty price tag of $8 per three servings, while New York’s offerings weigh in at $5. The large price gap in these dishes add up over time, and there’s no standard way to decipher which inmates sincerely need Kosher food for religious reasons. That’s where prison officials try to decipher needs versus desires, which is certainly a gray area.
Florida is one of only 15 states that doesn’t serve Kosher food throughout its jail system. Although, the state is currently under court order, due to inmates’ religious freedom, to temporarily do so by July until the issue is resolved in trial.