A Muslim civil rights group is accusing the staff of a privately run detention facility in Leavenworth of religious discrimination against a female inmate.

A Muslim civil rights group is accusing the staff of a privately run detention facility in Leavenworth of religious discrimination against a female inmate.

Muslim Advocates made the allegations against the CoreCivic Leavenworth Detention Center in a letter released Wednesday.

The letter accuses staff members at the facility of referring to a headscarf worn by a Muslim inmate, Valeriece Ealom, as a “rag” and threatening to discipline her if she did not remove it.

According to the letter, Ealom had permission to wear a religious head covering from a chaplain at the detention center.

The letter also alleges staff members retaliated against Ealom after she complained and filed a grievance. The letter alleges that, at one point, a staff member confiscated one of Ealom’s headscarves as a contraband.

CoreCivic is contracted by the U.S. Marshals Service to house inmates at the Leavenworth Detention Center.

The Associated Press reports that Ealom has been held at the Leavenworth Detention Center since November after federal prosecutors moved to revoke her parole in a drug case.

The letter from Muslim Advocates is addressed to Damon Hininger, president and CEO of CoreCivic; Linda Thomas, warden of the Leavenworth Detention Center; Michael Horowitz, inspector general for the U.S. Department of Justice; and Ronald Miller, U.S. marshal for Kansas.

“The actions that have taken place in the Leavenworth Detention Center are in clear violation of federal law,” Nimra Azmi, staff attorney for Muslim Advocates, said in a news release.

Azmi, who was one of the authors of the Muslim Advocates letter, said CoreCivic and the U.S. Marshals Service have an obligation to “ensure that Ms. Ealom and other Muslim women detainees can practice their faith freely and without fear of retaliation.”

Amanda S. Gilchrist, director of public affairs for CoreCivic, said in a statement that the company “cares deeply about every person in our care, and we work hard to ensure those in our facility are treated respectfully and humanely. We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind, and cultural and ethnic sensitivity education is part of every employee’s training.”

According to Gilchrist, there “is a robust grievance process available to all inmates at Leavenworth” which provides multiple ways to raise concerns.

“Ms. Ealom has availed herself of those mechanisms on several occasions, and the facility has responded and continues to respond appropriately.”

Gilchrist said the Leavenworth Detention Center’s warden and chaplain have assisted Ealom “with regard to her religious head gear, and will continue to address any concerns she raises promptly.”

The letter from Muslim Advocates was posted on the organization’s website. The letter identifies Muslim Advocates as a national civil rights and legal advocacy organization.

The letter lists a Washington, D.C., address for the organization. The organization’s website lists a mailing address in Oakland, California.

A news release regarding the letter appears on the Muslim Advocates website. The news release features a photograph of the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth rather than a picture of the Leavenworth Detention Center.

In February, acting without a lawyer, Ealom filed a federal civil lawsuit concerning her treatment. A judge dismissed the suit in June, saying that it didn’t provide enough information to show how she had been harmed, according to The Associated Press.

The Leavenworth Detention Center is the focus of ongoing legal action over the taping of phone calls between prisoners and their lawyers. A Justice Department audit last year blasted the detention center for understaffing, security problems and deceptive practices. Prison officials have been accused of retaliating against employees who complain, according to The Associated Press.