Allowing head coverings to be worn for religious purposes is a reasonable accommodation.
When it comes to accommodating religious concerns, most people might think that courtrooms and prisons would not be centers of controversy on the topic.
After all, don’t people in such locations and institutions have to live by the rules? And taking off a hat is a sign of respect in Western culture – but not necessarily elsewhere.
It’s true that inmates, for example, can’t choose what they eat or when they have to go to bed or get up, and they most certainly can’t leave.
And they normally can’t choose the clothes they wear. Most prisoners in most institutions wear what the institution requires them to wear, from the blue jeans, blue shirts and gray sweatshirts of the Maine State Prison to the orange, yellow or blue outfits inmates wear at the Cumberland County Jail.
But now the court system and the jail, along with other institutions in Maine and across the nation, have decided to accommodate one aspect of religious garb: headgear. (MORE)