The Governor of Virginia
United States of America

The Virginia Department of Corrections (VDOC) refuses to recognise the religious rights of Rastafarians. They define Rastafari as "Gang-Activity", and have implemented a Grooming Policy (DOP #864) which forbids the growing of Dreadlocks and beards (Precepts) and forces Rastas to break their religious vows.

Rastas who refused to comply and break their religious vows are being punished by being placed insolitary confinement (where they remain after almost 3 years), denied visits, and given harsh and cruel physical and mental punishments.

This is in direct violation of the 1st and 14th Amendment of the US Constitution, Article 1 of the Virginia State Constitution, and also the RLUIP Act of 2000, and should therefore be stopped immediately.

We, the undersigned petitioners, object to the VDOC DOP#864 "Hair Policy" as it is currently applied against Rastafarian inmates. We find that it is a violation of both Rastafarian human and religious rights, and call upon the Governor of Virginia, and the State and Federal Courts to compel the VDOC to cease and desist enforcement of this policy and make religious exemptions for Rastafarian inmates.

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The Fight Discrimination Against Rastas in Virginia petition to The Governor of Virginia was written by Sis. Jahnira Tafari and is in the category Government at GoPetition.