Inmate Bhakta David B., from Connecticut, has taken it upon himself to fight for the imprisoned bhaktas’ rights to practice their Kṛṣṇa consciousness. After exhausting all the in-house prison recourses, he has brought his claims to court. It is a long process, especially since he doesn’t have any help. In his own words:

As to the legal battle, yes, there are certainly times when I doubt and want to just go away but I cannot go against my convictions and I cannot stop fighting. Even if I wanted to do so, Kṛṣṇa has made it clear to me that I cannot. I am a warrior and I guess that means that it is my calling to be in such situations for Kṛṣṇa . I removed the Juhu fight [from Giriraja Maharaja’s book, “I’ll Build You a Temple” ] and so many others that so many devotees fought that were worse than mine, so these examples help me to carry on when I really want to just bury my head in the sand. Unfortunately, hyenas have a nasty habit of munching on your tail feathers if you do that little stunt.

I am also still seeking counsel and writing to many attorneys that say they do Federal civil cases but no takers at the moment. I even wrote that ISKCON temples in Hartford, Connecticut and other temples as well. I am over my head but not indigent so I cannot get a lawyer appointed to me. Defendants are able to sling paper my way but I am limited in my ability to handle this very complex case by myself. Even the DA agree with me on this being a complex case but I will keep trying to do my best and leave the rest to Kṛṣṇa . Definitely a “rhino” [to chase for Prabhupāda].

Bhakta David’s goals are:

Requesting that defendants (prisons in the BOP system) accommodate Nationally, BOP-wide: (BOP=Bureau of Prison):

1) Meals that are vegetarian/vegan through the Certified Religious Diet that currently nationally accommodates Jewish Kosher and Muslim Halal (it won’t be garlic/onion-free nor made by devotees, but still better than the other options that would have cross-contamination of animal products as an issue).

2) Personal altar

3) Offering all foodstuffs outside of the contaminated chow hall (cafeteria) with non-devotees present (that is already allowed for Jewish inmates).

4) Allowed to procure and wear kunti mala at all times in the BOP facilities and transit.

5) Acquire and use: japa bead bag, Brahmin thread, tilak clay, non-leather BOP mandated work/daytime boots, deities, deity paraphernalia, arati set, camara fan, peacock feather, handkerchief, Tulasi leaves/plant, personal kartals.

6) Commissary special Purchase Orders for spices, ghee, yogurt, , Tulasi leaves, holy water, etc. (for aratis).

7) Holy days -all 15 and Ekadasi as work prosumption days as per BOP rules.

8) Fast days -all as Public fasts days as done for other faith groups per BOP rules.


NOTE: If you feel inspired to help David in this fight, you can either sponsor a lawyer to help Bhakta David, or —if you are a lawyer— you can offer him your services, Pro Bono. If you feel moved to do this service, please contact the prison ministry at:
with “David's court case” in the subject line. Thank you everyone for your support.


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