11th Cir. Holds Long Hair May Impair Prison Safety
(CN) - Native American inmates in Alabama are not entitled to a religious exemption to wear their hair long, the 11th Circuit ruled.
In 1993, four male Native American inmates of the Alabama Department of Corrections challenged the department's policy requiring inmates to wear a "regular hair cut," defined as "off neck and ears."
They argued that the policy violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, because wearing long hair is a central tenant of their religious faith. The federal government intervened on their behalf.