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Rastafarian inmates have spent nearly 10 years in segregation

From the Associated Press: Next week will mark a decade that at least eight Rastafarian inmates have been held in segregation in Virginia prisons for refusing to cut their hair.

Virginia Department of Corrections policy requires men to cut their hair above the shirt collar. The Rastafarian faith urges followers to let their hair grow unbridled.

A department spokesman confirmed that at least eight inmates have been in segregation for nearly 10 years but said a total number was not available.

The policy is intended to help identify inmates and to prevent them from hiding contraband.

The ACLU of Virginia challenged the grooming policy in federal court in 2003 but lost.

Federal law says prisons can only impede on religious liberties for compelling reasons, like safety.

By Washington Post Editors  |  December 7, 2009; 2:10 PM ET
Categories:  Prison Beat , Virginia  
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Maybe a little review is in order here. For those Rastafarians who are foreigners, and have served the bulk of their sentence, perhaps they can be released and deported.

Posted by: | December 7, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

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