NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A federal appeals court says a Louisiana inmate can keep dreadlocks he has grown as part of his religion.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ruled in favor of Christopher Ware, an adherent of the Rastafari religion.
The court record says Ware took a vow not to cut his hair.
The state corrections system’s grooming requirements don’t permit dreadlocks.
A three-judge appellate panel, overturning a district judge, said the state prison grooming policies, as applied to Ware, violate federal law.
The panel’s ruling noted that state corrections system inmates who are being held at local facilities aren’t subject to the same grooming rule.
Court records say Ware has been held in Bossier Parish, where he has been allowed to keep his dreadlocks during the appeal.