§ Mrs. Renée Short
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions have been held on the 1976 circular instruction to prisons on the treatment of Rastafarians; and if any changes are contemplated to these guidelines.
§ Mr. Mayhew
The prison department is reviewing its policy toward Rastafarian inmates. Discussions are taking place with the Commission for Racial Equality, and between the commission and Rastafarian and other groups. particular consideration is being given to the desirability of allowing for the recognition of minority customs and beliefs. Meanwhile instructions have already been issued to wardens of detention centres—where the general practice is to require all inmates to have their hair cut short—to give Rastafarian inmates the opportunity to retain their "dreadlocks".