CHAPTER 427

FORMERLY

SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 3

DIRECTING THE COMMISSIONER OF CORRECTIONS, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, TO FORMULATE A DRESS AND GROOMING CODE FOR INMATES IN THE DELAWARE PRISON POPULATION AND TO REPORT TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY WITHIN 30 DAYS A SCHEDULE OF IMPLEMENTATION AND THE COSTS INCIDENTAL THERETO.

WHEREAS, the Delaware General Assembly is deeply interested in promoting the objective of accountability and greater safety for members of the general public relative to the criminal justice system; and

WHEREAS, the Delaware General Assembly is desirous of encouraging and maximizing inmate discipline and the expeditious apprehension of escapees from the Adult Corrections system; and

WHEREAS, the general public has been subjected to media depictions of Inmates within the Adult Corrections system who have obvious shortcomings in personal grooming and dress; and

WHEREAS, it is the consensus of members of the General Assembly that poor personal grooming habits and shoddy personal attire worn by inmates are counterproductive to discipline within the Adult Corrections system and contrary to the safe and efficient administration of justice; and

WHEREAS, the poor grooming and sloppy dress of many inmates, both as depicted in the media and in court appearances by such Inmates, undermines the public confidence in the Adult Corrections system and generates fears and prejudices relative to the efficiency of the system; and

WHEREAS, members of the Delaware General Assembly are concerned that the permissive attitude toward inmate grooming and dress may extend to other areas of prison administration; and

WHEREAS, reasonable uniformity in the attire and grooming of Inmates would promote the public safety, assist in the apprehension of escapees, and foster discipline in the correctional system; and

WHEREAS, federal courts have upheld the right of prison administrations in the States to adopt dress and grooming rules and regulations as long as they do not conflict with the bona fide religious beliefs of inmates.

NOW, THEREFORE:

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the 134th General Assembly of the State of Delaware, with the approval of the Governor, that the Commissioner of Corrections, In cooperation with the Attorney General, is hereby authorized and directed to formulate reasonable new grooming and dress regulations for the inmate population, including but not limited to uniformity of hair length, beard length and sideburns, and easily identifiable or color-coded dress according to institutional classification.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Commissioner of Corrections shall present such grooming and dress regulations to the Governor, the President Pro Tem of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House within 30 days of the enactment of this Senate Joint Resolution along with a schedule of implementation of such regulations and an estimate of the costs related to the implementation of such regulations.

Approved February 17, 1987