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Dreadlocks have long been a debate within respectability politics, but now the battle is going to court.

Carlos Thurman, a Black man from Kentucky, has filed a discrimination lawsuit in federal court against the state prison that forced him to cut his dreads off. The jail claims it’s because hairstyles like that –along with braids and corn rows– are not easy to search, so inmates can hide contraband.

According to USA Today, the Rastafarian claims that the prison –Northpoint Training Center–  violated his constitutional rights and religious freedoms. The ACLU’s Kentucky chapter is backing Thurman and filed the lawsuit on his behalf on April 29.

“Prison policies may not infringe on sincerely-held religious beliefs unless it can be shown that it’s the least restrictive means possible,” said ACLU of Kentucky Legal Director Corey Shapiro. “Mr. Thurman should never have been subjected to such retaliatory and degrading actions.”

According to the Union, Thurman was transferred to another facility after filing the grievance, which goes against Kentucky’s Religious Freedom Restoration and claims that his hair was never actually searched.

The filing came after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the CROWN Act — an acronym for Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair– to aid in prohibiting discrimination based on hairstyle or hair texture.

It was the first legislation of its kind to get passed in the United States. Although originating in California in 2019, it’s since been adopted by New York, New Jersey, New York City, Washington, Maryland, Virginia, and Colorado.