Booth v. State.
Booth v. State, 207 F.Supp.2d 394 (D.Md. 2002). An employee brought a [section] 1983 action against a correctional agency after he had been subjected to progressive disciplinary action for wearing his hair in modified dreadlocks while on duty as a uniformed officer, in violation of policy. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The court held that the progressive enforcement of the hairstyle policy was not a violation of the free exercise clause of the First Amendment, and that heightened scrutiny of the hairstyle policy was not required. According to the court, the hairstyle policy was rationally related to a legitimate government interest in public safety, discipline, and esprit de corps. The agency asserted that requiring officers to have traditional military or law enforcement hairstyles allowed them to be distinguished from prisoners during attempted uprisings or escapes, that such hairstyles engendered respect from prisoners, and that the hairstyles fostered esprit de corps among the officers. (Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center, Maryland)
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|Publication:||Corrections Caselaw Quarterly|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Feb 1, 2003|
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