After protest, prison rules on religion relaxed

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After protests from a religious rights group, Vermont’s Department of Corrections has relaxed proposed rules on faith observances by prisoners.

The Washington-based Becket Fund for Religious Liberty asked the department to drop a requirement that inmates provide a year’s notice before changing their stated religious affiliations.

Another change drops a requirement that inmates only engage in demonstrative prayer in their cells or designated religious areas. There was concern the rule would bar saying grace at meals.

The Corrections Department also is relaxing proposed restrictions on religious head coverings; inmates may wear them, but they will be subject to search.

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