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Inmate Gets First Circumcision In A Florida Prison

Publication Date: 
October 16, 2013
South Florida Jewish Journal
David A. Schwartz

The South Florida Jewish Journal reports on the role of Stanford Law School's Religious Liberty Clinic in representing a Jewish prisoner in his requests to receive a circumcision while incarcerated.  

Pablo Manuel Diaz, a 37-year-old inmate serving a life sentence at the Blackwater River Correctional Facility in Milton, recently became the first Florida prisoner to have a circumcision while incarcerated. A mohel performed the circumcision on Oct. 2 in the prison infirmary.

Diaz was born in Cuba to Jewish parents who did not have him circumcised as an infant because they feared political persecution. Returning to his Jewish roots through his participation in the prison ministry, Diaz repeatedly asked prison officials for permission to be circumcised. His requests were denied.

Students at the Stanford Law School's Religious Liberty Clinic in California began representing Diaz. They threatened to sue the Florida Department of Corrections for denying him his Constitutional right to observe his religious beliefs, in violation of the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA).


In recent emails to the Jewish Journal, Quiros said she and her colleagues at the Religious Liberty Clinic were "overjoyed" that the prison granted Diaz the right to a circumcision so quickly. "We were thrilled to be able to play a small part in helping him fulfill his religious beliefs."