ACLU Tells Wyoming Prison Department To Allow Inmates To Wear Kippahs

Corrections Department Cites 'Security Concerns'

By JTA

Published January 13, 2014.
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The American Civil Liberties Union has warned the Wyoming Department of Corrections that prohibiting an Orthodox Jewish inmate from wearing a kippah violates his religious freedom.

The ACLU and the ACLU of Wyoming sent a letter on Jan. 9 to the Wyoming Department of Corrections on behalf of inmate Clarence Fisher, saying that its refusal to allow Fisher to wear his kippah at all times violates the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 allowing prisoners to worship according to their religious beliefs.

The Corrections Department, which allows a prisoner to wear a kippah only in his own cell or during religious services, cited non-specific “security concerns” for refusing to accede to Fisher’s request to wear a kippah at all times in accordance with his religious beliefs, according to the ACLU.

The ACLU noted that prisoners can wear baseball caps and hats purchased at the prison commissary and that Jewish inmates in federal prisons are permitted to wear a kippah at all times.

The ACLU asked the Corrections Department to revise its policy.


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