Eric S. McGill Jr., an inmate at the Lebanon County Correctional Facility in Pennsylvania, has been kept in solitary confinement for over a year for refusing to cut his dreadlocks.

McGill, who is awaiting trial in a shooting case and is a Rastafarian by faith, believes cutting off his dreadlocks would make him lose his strength in the afterlife as he believes his spirit lives in them.

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Eric S. McGill Jr
Eric S. McGill Jr

McGill will be on trial later this month on several counts of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, among others, concerning a shooting incident in January 2019 that left four people injured.

According to the Associated Press, the 27-year-old filed a hand-written lawsuit against three senior administrators at the correctional facility seeking his release from solitary confinement. A group of lawyers, in an amended complaint that was filed two weeks ago, also argued that McGill’s mental state, after being put in solitary confinement was getting worse as he suffers anxiety attacks at least two times a week due to his current isolation.