SHAKOPEE, Minn. (AP) _ A Minnesota women's prison is discontinuing its policy that barred inmates from shaking hands or giving high-fives.

The Shakopee woman's prison has banned unsanctioned contact between inmates for the past eight years.

Critics have called the prison's ``no-touch'' policy cruel and unconstitutional.
Minnesota Department of Corrections Commissioner Paul Schell said Friday that, ``It wasn't a healthy policy.'' Schell said he believes the upcoming change will foster a ``more humane environment.''

Administrators say they implemented the rules when the women's prison was seeing a rise in inappropriate and, sometimes, nonconsensual sexual conduct between prisoners.

Reports say under new guidelines that take effect in mid-July, inmates will be allowed to fist bump, shake hands and give high-fives, but not give hugs.
About 640 adults are housed at the prison.

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