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Trans inmate sues prison for right to practice witchcraft

Jasmine Andersson April 27, 2018

A trans witch is fighting for the right to practice her Wiccan religion in prison.

Jennifer Ann Jasmaine, who is a Wiccan inmate in North Carolina, is suing Lanesboro Correctional Institution for allegedly denying her the right to practice her religion in the institution, reports The Charlotte Observer.

As well as requesting a vegan diet, the inmate is suing for the right to access the Wiccan holy text known as The Book of Shadows, a wand, Tarot cards, runes, candles, a bell and a black robe, among many other items.

Self-styled warlock Joe Zuchowski carves a candle in front of a display of swords, 06 November, 2003, in the Enchantments store in New York, the oldest store in New York City selling witchcraft items. (STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty)

“Ms. Jasmaine’s religion is not just her religion. It’s her way of life,” the lawsuit challenging the prison reads.

“This is the path in which she has taken.”

The lawsuit argues that the prison has restricted her rights to observe Wiccan holidays to just eight days a year, while Christian inmates can go to church six times a week.

 

Wicca religion practitioners participate in a Wiccan Lunar ritual in the temple at the Witch School October 25, 2006 in Hoopeston, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty)

Jasamaine has also been denied the right to a vegan diet in accordance with her beliefs, say her lawyers.

The advocates are arguing that prison guards have refused to acknowledge her dietary requirements, stating that the prisoner would have to become Rastafarian or Buddhist in order to be given vegan meals.

The high-category correctional facility houses 1,800 prisoners and has a notorious reputation.

A report claimed that the prisoner has carried out 60 infractions during her four years inside.

Jasmaine has experienced this issue throughout her incarceration.

In 2015, she sued Maury Correctional Institute in Hookerton, North Carolina, for not providing her with the means to practice her religion.

Wiccan practitioners call themselves witches.

The religion, which stems from a branch of modern paganism, sees believers worship a God and a Goddess.

There are around 408,000 practising Wiccans in the US.

More: prison, Trans, US, US, wiccan, witchcraft

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