CMC inmate suing prison over grooming policy

February 26, 2011

A Sikh inmate at the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo is suing the Department of Corrections for punishing him for refusing to trim his beard in adherence to his religion. [SacramentoBee]

Sukhjinder Basra claims that guards punished him for violating a rule prohibiting inmates from having facial hair longer than a half inch. For refusing to comply, Basra contends guards ordered him to perform extra prison duties, spend 10 days confined to his bunk and he lost 30 days of credit for good behavior.

Basra is serving time for a drug offense.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on Basra’s behalf on Friday.


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6 Comments

  1. Bass says:

    If you lose your rights when you got to prison why do they have prison guards? Why not let everyone beat and kill each other? Imagine the tax dollars we would save! He lost 30 days of credit for good behavior, I mean this guy must be bad ass if he’s getting credit for good behaviour. I assume prison isn’t meant to reform people either? Not working in this case if it is, no not at all! The guards still haven’t replied with any base to this dumb rule, you think they would have better things to do like find shanks. I don’t think a beard is going to kill someone. If the prison guards are so smart why is this an issue TWO PLUS YEARS after this person was in prison?

    Maybe they should jus scrap all religous programs in prison…..I’m sure no one take a different view then. Don’t you think?

    (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
  2. whatdouno says:

    This guy is in prison correct? When I was in school, we were educated that you lose your rights when
    you go to prison. Why is this even an issue? Let’s move on to some real issues.

    (13) 17 Total Votes - 15 up - 2 down
  3. Ghost Walker says:

    Yet another lawyer out to make a buck at the expense of the tax payer. Those poor victimized convicts. Hair cuts and proper hygene. How dare those mean guards.

    (14) 18 Total Votes - 16 up - 2 down
  4. Cindy says:

    Use of drugs is clearly against his “claimed” religion. Now he suddenly wants to follow the rules?

    Off with his beard.

    (29) 35 Total Votes - 32 up - 3 down
    • zaphod says:

      “Nihang Sikhs of Punjab, who are defenders of historic Sikh shrines are an exception and consume an intoxicant called bhang (cannabis) to help in meditation, saying that it is puratan maryada (Punjabi for “old tradition”). Bhang is common in India; according to a legend, even the Hindu God Shiva was fond of bhang (cannabis) and it became his favourite food.[17] In 2001, Baba Santa Singh, the Jathedar of Budha Dal, along with 20 chiefs of Nihang sects refused to accept the ban on the consumption of bhang by the highest Sikh clergy.[18] Baba Santa Singh was excommunicated and replaced with Baba Balbir Singh, who agreed to shun the consumption of bhang”
      helps me meditate, I’m with Shiva! source
      This fellow could be the Sikh pope we should be nice to him.

      (-6) 12 Total Votes - 3 up - 9 down
      • Cindy says:

        How much bhang does this pope need? An ounce gets a person a citation, not jail time. I think he was meditating on something a bit stronger.

        (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down

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