ACLU Blasts Correctional Center Over Religious Expression
The ACLU of Louisiana has sent an open letter to Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mike Neustrom regarding a Muslim woman held at the parish's Correctional Center last year. ACLU spokeswoman Marjorie Esman says the woman was not allowed to wear her traditional Muslim head covering, violating her constitutional right to freedom of religious expression. Esman says the woman asked officers to allow her to wear her head covering in public and in the presence of men to protect her modesty as her religion requires. That request was denied. The ACLU has demanded the Correctional Center change its policies in order to protect the rights of its prisoners. Esman says she is "anticipating that the sheriff will do the right thing." The Sheriff's Office is reviewing the letter and has no comment at this time.