TCI inmate's rights violated by dreadlocks ban, federal judge rules
A federal judge ruled when it comes to Deon Glenn, a Trumbull Correctional Institution inmate, state and local policies that forbid him from maintaining dreadlocks violate his religious liberties.
The decision issued by Judge Patricia A. Gaughan of U.S. District Court in Cleveland takes no position on whether the state’s dreadlock ban violates the rights of other inmates.
Glenn, 30, received a sentence of 35 years to life from Judge Lou A. D’Apolito of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for the 2007 murder of Maressia Patterson. He will not be eligible for release until 2042.
Glenn became Rastafarian, which requires its adherents to let their hair grow naturally, in 2012, according to court documents.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections forbids dreadlocks, and a 2014 memorandum drafted by TCI officials specifies there are “no religious exemptions” to that policy.
At least 39 other jurisdictions, including the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, either allow dreadlocks or permit religious exemptions, according to court documents.
Read more about the matter in Wednesday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.