State's high court rules against prison's 'sweat lodge' closure


The state’s highest court says that the closure of a sweat lodge at a state prison violates federal law and an agreement settling a previous lawsuit.

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Monday in the case of Randall Trapp and Robert Ferreira, who it said were “adherents of Native American religious practices” who were incarcerated in state prisons.

The complaint alleged that the closure of the “purification lodge” at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley violated the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000; a settlement agreement reached in 2003 to resolve a prior lawsuit brought by Trapp; and the state Declaration of Rights.


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