Thursday, September 25, 2003

Prison warden had respect for people

John S. Dean, 50, treated inmates well

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Mr. Dean

John Sloan Dean, warden of the Southeastern Correctional Institution in Lancaster, Ohio, died Saturday from injuries he received in a car accident on Interstate 71 in Clinton County. The former Cincinnati resident lived in Columbus.

The accident occurred while Mr. Dean, 50, and his wife, Andrea, were driving home after dropping their older daughter, Courtney, off for her first year at the University of Cincinnati - Mr. Dean's alma mater.

"My brother's philosophy was that not everyone (who was) incarcerated was a bad person," said William S. Dean of Bond Hill, a Hamilton County sheriff's deputy.

"He wasn't one to belittle anybody because of circumstances - and at no time looked down upon anyone. He believed that men were men and they should be treated like that. He taught me how to treat people."

Mr. Dean "didn't just sit up in the office in his institution," his brother said. "He went down there and talked to inmates. And he didn't just listen. He would write things down and check into them. If something was wrong in his staff and he found out it was wrong, he dealt with that."

When they learned of Mr. Dean's death, inmates said: "What are we going to do? Our protector is gone," said Mr. Dean's mother, Ella Brown of Bond Hill.

A 1971 graduate of Woodward High School, Mr. Dean held a bachelor's degree from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree from Xavier University.

He had worked for the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections since 1976.

He was a member of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Columbus, where he was on the deacons board and a past member of the Brotherhood Chorus.

He was also a member of the graduate chapter of Alpha Rholanda, the Cavaliers Men's Club, the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Services Association, and the Ohio Wardens and Superintendents Association, where he served as treasurer and was formerly a board member for the Samaritan Project.

Mr. Dean was a volunteer tutor for the Columbus Public Schools and worked in the Columbus Food Pantry. His favorite pastime was fishing the waters of Lake Erie with friend Dave Lane of Columbus.

In addition to his wife, daughter, mother and brother, survivors include: another daughter, Lauren, at home; his stepfather, Robert Brown of Bond Hill; and a sister, Carolyn Partee of Colerain Township.

Visitation is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, followed by the funeral at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 2188 Woodward Ave., Columbus. Burial will be at Glen Rest Memorial Estates in Columbus.


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