Jail rules on head coverings modifiedMaine’s courts and the Cumberland County Jail are modifying their rules regarding head coverings in order to accommodate the practices of Muslims and people of other faiths.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s courts and the Cumberland County Jail are modifying their rules regarding head coverings in order to accommodate the practices of Muslims and people of other faiths.
Under the new policy, defendants, inmates and visitors will no longer be required to remove scarves or other head coverings that are required by religious custom.
That obligation has come into conflict with security concerns and cultural standards that prevail in many of the nation’s courts and prisons.
With the growth of the nation’s Muslim communities, pressure to allow head coverings has increased. Some other states and the federal justice system have already modified their rules.
Hats have historically been forbidden inside the Cumberland County Jail, where inmates are issued pants and shirts of yellow, orange or blue depending on the security risk they present. To address concerns about security, the jail has contracted with a vendor to provide head coverings that meet jail security standards, Sheriff Mark Dion said.
Since 2005, the jail has detained 538 declared Muslims who were either arrested locally or held for federal authorities.