Inmates Who Refuse Haircuts Sent To Maximum Security

RICHMOND, Va. — Several Rastafarians and other inmates have been moved to a high-security prison as officials try to persuade them to cut their hair, which many refuse to do because it goes against their religious beliefs.

Many inmates had spent more than a decade in isolation for refusing to cut their hair and then were all first moved to the same prison in November. Their refusal violates the state's grooming policy for prisoners. Some of those recently moved are still working through a program meant to persuade them to cut their hair. Nine chose to go back into segregation, corrections department spokesman Larry Traylor said Thursday.

Corrections officials said the program would give the inmates more privileges and a chance to socialize. In letters to the AP, several inmates criticized it as little more than segregation by another name.

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