Megan Wade

Document Type



Religiously based hunger-striking prisoners face a cruel reality—being force-fed for adhering to their religious beliefs. Typically, hunger-striking prisoners facing being force-fed challenge this state action as a First Amendment violation. So far, no inmate has been successful. Congress enacted the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) in direct response to state infringement upon prisoners’ right to religious freedom. Because RLUIPA offers greater protection of religious rights than does the First Amendment, religiously based hunger-striking prisoners will have a greater likelihood of preventing a state from forcefeeding them by alleging a RLUIPA violation.