Virginia jail ends 'God Pod' after Muslim inmates sue

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A Virginia jail has ended a program inmates dubbed the "God Pod" after a lawsuit alleged the program provided favorable treatment to Christians and discriminated against Muslims.

Court documents show the Riverside Regional Jail south of Richmond ended the program on the advice of counsel after a lawsuit was filed last year by Muslim inmates represented by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

A judge in federal court in Alexandria heard arguments Friday on whether the Life Learning Program implemented by a jail chaplain violated constitutional prohibitions against establishment of religion.

Inmates said those in the "God Pod" received preferred status like their own cell and use of a television and microwave.

Jail officials acknowledged the program was built on biblical principles but said it was open to all faiths.