ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. – Adams County will pay a Muslim inmate denied a Quran during the 2015 Ramadan holy days $25,000 to settle a lawsuit filed last year, and the jail has agreed to change its policies to protect the religious rights of jailed Muslims.
Though the jail denied any wrongdoing in the settlement agreement, its payment to the former inmate, Marquis Harris, came with an agreement from Harris that he would drop the civil suit.
The $25,000 payment will go to Harris’s attorney, Denver-based David Lane, which will cover attorneys’ fees and other costs associated with the suit, as well as payment to Harris.
The jail also agreed in the settlement to provide Muslim inmates with any requested religious materials in a timely fashion; to provide Muslim inmates with their morning meals the night before during the Ramadan period; to allow (consistent with current policy) Muslim inmates to gather for prayer when Muslim leaders come to the facility to supervise; and to consider giving Muslim inmates Halal meals “if an option for providing those meals is financially and logistically feasible.”
The suit stemmed from a complaint that Harris’s Quran had been seized and placed with his personal belongings when he was transferred to the Adams County jail in June 2015. A request for Halal meals and a Quran during Ramadan was also denied, according to the original suit.
The settlement means that Harris won’t be able to bring further damage complaints against the alleged defendants in the lawsuit.
“It is encouraging to see courageous Muslims in our society fight the discrimination Donald Trump has loosed in America,” Lane said in a statement regarding the settlement, though the alleged improprieties by the jail occurred only around the time that Trump was announcing his presidential candidacy.