Bloomberg Law’s combination of innovative analytics, research tools and practical guidance provides you with everything you need to be a successful litigator.
A Rastafarian inmate in a Louisiana prison can’t be forced to cut off his dreadlocks, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit said Aug. 17 ( Ware v. La. Dep’t of Corr. , 2017 BL 263495, 5th Cir., No. 16-31012, 7/28/17 ).
The Louisiana Department of Corrections’s “grooming policy"—prohibiting such hairstyles—runs afoul of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, the court said, in an opinion by Judge Carolyn Dineen King.
RLUIPA prohibits prisons from unnecessarily burdening inmates’ religious practices.
Both parties agreed that Christopher Ware’s religious practices would be burdened if forced to cut his hair, the court said. Ware had made a religious vow not to cut or style his hair, the court explained.
So the prison had to show that it had a compelling justification for the grooming policy, that couldn’t be accomplished any other way.
The prison failed both requirements.
The prison’s stated justifications, including prohibiting contraband, were underminded by the fact that the grooming policy didn’t apply to DOC inmates housed in “parish jails” due to overcrowding. Such inmates accounted for nearly half of the DOC’s inmate population, the court said.
Moreover, the prison couldn’t show that it’s goals could only be accomplished via the grooming policy. In particular, 39 other jurisdictions, including the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, allow dreadlocks without substantial disruption to their safety goals, the court said.
Judges Edward C. Prado and Leslie H. Southwick joined the opinion.
Hogan Lovells US LLP, Baltimore; the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Louisiana, New Orleans; and Davidson, Jones & Summers, Shreveport, La., represented Ware. The Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections, Baton Rouge, La., represented the state DOC.
To contact the reporter on this story: Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at firstname.lastname@example.org
Full text at http://src.bna.com/rLG.
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)