Taxpayers will not have to bear the costs of a new beard policy for inmates after all.
Last week, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said it was discarding its "clean-shaven" grooming rule for inmates who wanted to grow beards for religious reasons. Beginning Aug. 1, inmates can file a request to their respective wardens to grow beards of no longer than a half-inch in length.
If granted, they will have to have new and more frequent identification photos taken. The cost of needed paperwork and the manpower to process it all was estimated by the department to be $500,000.
But a Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman said Tuesday that the agency has reconsidered the cost of the new policy.
"No taxpayer dollars are being used as a result of the new grooming policy," said Jason Clark, the spokesman.