Last week, we were contacted by an American Muslim man who reported that he was unable to visit a close George W. Hill Correctional Facility, a private prison operating in Delaware County, because the “Visitor Dress Code” prohibited visitors who wear “hats.” Because our client wears a kufi for religious reasons, he was denied entry. I contacted George W. Hill on the client’s behalf and asked for a modification to the dress code. The dress code already permitted visitation by Muslim women in religious attire, provided that women are willing to submit to an additional search conducted by a female correctional officer and outside the presence of men. My letter to the correctional facility noted the policy relating to Musllim women in religious attire and requested a policy modification which would apply a similar standard to Muslim men in religious attire.
CAIR-Philadelphia is proud to announce success in this case. George W. Hill Correctional Facility modified its dress code policy within days of receiving the letter from CAIR-Philadelphia.
“George W. Hill deserves the credit in this case. The policy already demonstrated an intent to make reasonable religious accommodations while simultaneously protecting the legitimate penological interests of the facility. We just helped them see that the policy needed to be more broadly stated to accomplish their intended goal.”
Why is this important?
We are very proud of our success in this case. It reflects one of our two main case priorities: to serve the most vulnerable populations within the American Muslim community.
Incarcerated Muslims are among the most vulnerable populations within the American Muslim community, and they are harmed when their visitors are unfairly refused entry for visitation purposes. This is one of several ongoing cases in which CAIR-Philadelphia is representing the rights of incarcerated persons and their families.