Richmond City Jail abruptly cancels its yoga program

Well, this isn’t the type of news I’d want to break into our semi-retirement to report. But…

Apparently, the much-lauded yoga program run by Robbie Norris in Richmond has been shut down. You can find our past coverage here.

And here’s the report from Style Weekly:

The reason, according to the jail, is that instructor Robbie Norris breached the rules for volunteer conduct. But he says the jail was merely seeking an excuse to terminate the program, which had been on the verge of a planned expansion.

Sarah Scarbrough, internal program director at the jail, says an internal investigation found that Norris breached “several of those code of conduct protocols.”

She declines to name which policies were violated, but says that because of the nature of his work, Norris was given a pass on a particular rule that requires a foot of distance between volunteers and inmates.


Norris says Scarbrough reprimanded him for going to his classes without an escort, but he says he only followed deputies’ orders — if they told him to get off the elevator alone and walk to the desk, he did. Norris says he did nothing inappropriate, and that the jail is choosing to enforce the regulations now. His requests for an explanation have gone unanswered, he says.

You can read more at the link, including some ideas of what might be behind the sudden decision. Robbie — as you might expect — is trying to find a new avenue to help inmates and others out. Here’s hoping he finds one soon.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.