MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Hennepin County Jail will allow inmates to wear religious head coverings.
Sheriff Rich Stanek announced the new policy Thursday.
Stanek says inmates can wear a jail-issued hijab, the Muslim head scarf, or other religious headwear as long as there's no threat to safety and security. The jail also will issue yarmulkes and kufi hats.
Minnesota Public Radio News (http://bit.ly/1duKQHF ) reports the sheriff's office previously considered inmate requests for religious head coverings on a case-by-case basis.
Fartun Weli, a Somali public-health advocate who serves on the sheriff's community advisory board, says the new policy, "addresses the most fundamental issue of civil rights."
The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations approached the sheriff's office last year and helped develop the policy.
Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org