Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1-2012

Abstract

In this Article, I argue that the Eleventh Circuit's general legal approach to such religious freedom claims and its support for restrictive inmate grooming standards are no longer sustainable. That is, a substantial and increasing number of jurisdictions have been able to respond to their penological concerns-the same penological interests that undergird and justify the restrictive inmate grooming standards adopted by the states within the Eleventh Circuit-without abridging the rights of inmates to grow their hair in accordance with their respective faiths. Accordingly, I posit that the Eleventh Circuit's jurisprudence must not only be revisited, but replaced with a more searching analysis, in light of the prevailing, and growing recognition that religious rights of inmates need not reflexively give way to prison interests in security, health, and order. Framed differently, to the extent that an individual imprisoned in a state within the Eleventh Circuit asserts that the applicable grooming standards implicate an inmate's religious rights, the Eleventh Circuit may be obliged to change course and examine with greater scrutiny and skepticism the states' ability under law to enforce restrictive grooming policies.

Publication Title

University of Miami Law Review

Volume

66

First Page

923

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