Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Virginia State News

September 14, 2012

Settlement will allow Va inmates to grow beards

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia inmates will soon get to wear beards.

The state Department of Corrections settled a lawsuit earlier this week with inmate William Couch, a Sunni Muslim who says his religion requires him to maintain a beard. The state will amend its grooming policy to allow male prisoners to sport up to ¼-inch beards beginning in October.

Virginia has maintained that long hair and beards are threats to security and health and were therefore banned.

Several Rastafarian and other inmates unsuccessfully challenged the policy and were held in segregation for more than a decade for refusing to cut their hair for religion reasons.

A federal appeals court revived Couch's lawsuit in May, saying federal law protecting prisoners' religious rights requires the government to use "the least restrictive means" to guarantee security.

1
Text Only
Virginia State News
West Virginia State News
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Sister Newspapers' News