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Rights of Rastafarian Employees and Inmates

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"Rastafarians are named after Ras (Prince) Tafari, Selassie’s title before being crowned Emperor in 1930. The movement later was influenced by Jamaicans. There are estimates that there are as many as one million adherents to the religion worldwide. In the U.S., most adherents are African-Americans. Rastafarians engage in the spiritual use of cannabis, wear their hair in dreadlocks and are generally opposed to cutting their hair. The Ital vegetarian diet is one of the main tenets of the Rastafari movement. Those who adhere to it abstain from all meat and flesh whatsoever, asserting that to touch meat is to touch death. Some Rastafarians, however, do eat some meat nevertheless, but no pork or shellfish" (p. 201). This article covers legal issues associated with Rastafarian staff and inmates and provides suggestions for addressing these challenges. Sections of this publication include: introduction; Rastafarian employees; Rastafarian inmates; and suggestions to consider.