Hair Flap Causes stir in Jail's Youth Wing

Tucson Citizen, July 31, 1996
By Jennifer Katleman

Abstract: A public defender says Pima County jail should be sued for civil rights violation because it forces inmates to cut their hair. But, Sheriff's Department calls the accusations "wildly off-base", and maintains the haircuts were recommended for several youth.

This isn't the first time an inmate has protested the jail's hair treatment.

Dharma Kaur Khalsa, arrested for shoplifting and narcotics charges, sued the county last August for religious discrimination after jail staff cut her long hair. She claimed that her locks had never been cut because her Sikh religion forbids it.

But a Superior Court judge dismissed the case in February at her lawyer's request.

Deputy County Attorney Beverly Anderson said her investigation of the civil claim showed that Khalsa's long hair was really hair extensions she used for her job as a stripper. The jail removed Khalsa's extensions because her hair was so thick and matted it was hard to search for contraband, she said.

Anderson didn't know the outcome of the shoplifting and narcotics charges.

The jail does allow long hair, but, it must be clean and without lice.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.