View Full Version : Ohio Death Row moving to supermax prison in Youngstown

03-23-2005, 05:37 AM
Ohio death row moving to supermax prison in Youngstown

3/22/2005, 12:13 p.m. ET By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS The Associated Press COLUMBUS, Ohio

The state will move Ohio's death row to the supermaximum security prison in Youngstown in a bid to save millions of dollars in tight budget times, prison officials said Tuesday. The move, scheduled for sometime this summer, is unrelated to an attempted escape from the death row unit at the prison in Mansfield last month or any general security concerns, said Terry Collins, deputy director of the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

The Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown already has staff and space to handle the additional inmates, Collins said. Ohio had 198 men on death row Tuesday at the Mansfield Correctional Institution. One woman who has been sentenced to death is housed at Ohio's women's prison in Marysville. Collins said the move could save "millions of dollars" but had no specific figure available Tuesday.

The state will close the Mansfield prison's death row unit, where about 100 people work. The prisons department is discussing the fate of those jobs with the state employees' union but no layoffs are planned, Collins said. The prison also houses about 2,200 other inmates. About 50 positions are open at the Mansfield and nearby Richland correctional institutions, and another 10 to 20 at the Youngstown facility, said Sally Meckling, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association. Collins said the state is still evaluating whether any death row employees would be needed in Youngstown.

Ohio has put 16 men to death since resuming executions in 1999, including seven last year, second in the nation only to Texas, which executed 23. The state's public defender slammed the announcement, criticizing the Youngstown facility as overly harsh and saying it will hurt efforts to represent the inmates in court.

The move will force public defenders from Columbus to nearly double their driving time to meet with clients at Youngstown in northeast Ohio, said State Public Defender David Bodiker. Inmates in the Youngstown facility are restricted to individual cells 23 hours a day.

The U.S. Supreme Court will review an appeal this year over the assignment of inmates to Youngstown. Civil rights groups filed a class-action lawsuit against the state on behalf of prisoners in 2001, claiming that the inmates were not given a chance to prove they didn't belong in the Youngstown prison.

"We try to keep the morale of the people on death row up and try to do what we can," Bodiker said. "They're sitting there anticipating execution. They're probably going to think execution is welcome if they have to stay at Youngstown."

Ohio moved death row to Mansfield from the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville after the 1993 riots that killed a guard and nine inmates. The state will continue to execute condemned killers in Lucasville, Collins said. Two inmates tried unsuccessfully to escape from death row last month. Several administrators were reprimanded and two officials were demoted and received pay cuts after the attempted escape, in which inmates hit a homemade ladder under a pile of snow in an outdoor recreation cage.

Presumably this is the end of any possibility of the 2004 decision to reinstitute contact visits at DR MAN CI coming to fruition.

03-23-2005, 07:42 AM
Sorry, I'm from the Netherlands, and I have no idea what this means. I understand it's a bad thing, this move, but why? Can someone explain this to me? Are there people here who have inmates in Mansfield, who can tell me more about this? I have a penpal in Mansfield, and he didn't say anything about this in his last letter...


03-23-2005, 06:00 PM
Considering what these individuals were convicted of, I am pretty certain that Ohio's correction system considered it as the best move (I didn't say me, but Ohio's legal system, I want to make that clear). In regards to Ohio's SuperMax unit. Yes, it is necessary for some offenders to be there. Otherwise, other prisons would be much worse then they already are. But that doesn't mean a SuperMax has to be a "hell hole". Minnesota sends its worst offenders to the SuperMax in Oak Park Heights. Ours is different then ones in other states, in that ours has programs available to its inmates who wish to participate in them. And those who do participate, are allowed out of their cells during all hours of the day. They also have contact visits. Those who don't get with the program, are placed under very restrictive conditions until they decide that respecting other inmates and staff are in their best interest. Needless to say, Minnesota probably has the best program available for a SuperMax, and perhaps the least violent. It would be a very smart move for Ohio to look into what Minnesota has, and it would perhaps be better for the safety of the public as well.

Also, I am wondering about the Netherlands, and how they handle "end of life" issues there. I know your country doesn't have a death penalty, spect, but aren't some people in hospitals euthanized against their will? In regards to the situation in Ohio, it would be very difficult for me to understand why someone can take a stand against the death penalty (a form of euthanasia) for someone convicted of capital murder without also taking a position against euthanasia on someone who is severely disabled and innocent. Your thoughts would be appreciated. The folks on this message board, Kyla, Softheart, and others, believe strongly in the sanctity of life, and that every life has value regardless of the circumstance. I have a great deal of respect for them. Perhaps you may very well be interested in taking up the cause of what they believe in as well. If so, then welcome aboard!


Just Me 1973
03-23-2005, 07:35 PM
This move means the inmates will be more restricted than they already are. As of right now, they have no phones available as they have in ManCI. The move will probably mean they will have to get rid of property. It means a new prison, new warden, new staff, new surroundings and most likely a lot harsher than it is today.

Your pal probably didn't mention it in his last letter becasue the plans got confirmed yesterday or the day before. Feel free to PM me if you need someone to talk to :)

03-24-2005, 06:49 AM
Hello all,

My penpal is in Mansfield, because he killed someone, he's on death row. He admitted he did it, so to be punished, I agree. But I am absolutely against the death penalty. I think people always deserve a second chance.

This is a difficult issue, because in the Netherlands we're able to decide ourselves - if we are in a sane state of mind (this must be decided by an attorney or a doctor) - if we want to live or die, knowing that you will never be healthy again. So, due to a serious illness, like cancer or aids, or a severe accident, and the doctors are absolutely possitive you will never be able to recover, you can decide to end your life. In the precense of a doctor, and at least two more doctors must state that you want this yourself. So, it's never posible that someone can be euthanised against their will! No-one who is mentally ill, or something like that, will be euthanised. I know this is told sometimes in the US, to let people see that the Dutch are too liberal, or whatever, but we have very strict rules about things like this.

But, we do think that everybody has a right to decide about his/her life, and that no government can decide for you.
This also goes for abortion. I can imagine there are situations that being pregnant is the worst thing that can happen to you (being raped, getting pregnant at 16, etc. BTW: we are a country with the one of the lowest rates of juvenile pregnancies, because we do give enough education to young people, are open about sex, and understand that what is forbidden is always more interesting to the generation that is in their discovering age, than what is not an issue), so you must be able to do something about it, without getting into trouble, or finding an illegal way to get it done with the trouble that comes with it.

In the Netherlands we are strong believers in the fact that a person is capable of deciding for him/herself. We don't need a government telling us what to do about very personal issues, because why is what the government is saying better or more true than what I am thinking? (we, of course need a government to deal with the general things, like rules and laws to have a normal society). It's nothing more than the opinion of another person. And of course it's okay if more people think the same way and they form a group (a party), but again, if there are other people thinking differently, who is deciding that the first group should be right? I respect someone elses opinion, but I don't think I'll ever understand that f.e. in the case like Schiavo, the US president is coming back from his holiday to decide for people he doesn't even know, what is best for them! Who does he think he is? God?

But to get back to the euthanasia-thing: I, f.e. have a will that says if I might ever be in a accident or something, and I end up in a coma without any chance of waking up, living like a vegetable, I want my loved ones to end my live. If this wasn't in a will, and the people near me (my parents right now) don't want me to die, than no-one can euthanise me. If I have a partner, who decided otherwise than my parents (like the schiavo-case, than my partner would have the right to decide, because he would be the one closest to me (being married, or having a registrated partnership). but, again, only if it's sure I will never be able to have a normal life, and this needs to be confirmed by several doctors...

I hope I didn't upset anyone with how I feel about things like life and death... It's only my opinion

if there are any questions, please feel free!

03-24-2005, 03:25 PM
The only easy way for me to reconcile my beliefs on abortion, capital punishment, and euthanasia is to choose life.

03-24-2005, 03:40 PM

03-24-2005, 11:01 PM
Thanks for your reply, specht. In regards to Terri Schiavo, and George Bush, the issue is far more complex than most people would think. Terri didn't choose to be denied medical care, someone else chose for her. That's where congress stepped in, they did it to protect someone who is considered as vulnerable, and at someone else's mercy, as well as unable to make such a decision for herself. There was no proof that Terri wanted to die, so congress wanted to provide the assumption that she wanted to live. She will suffer immensly from starvation and dehydration. Perhaps it wouldn't be nearly as painful for her if she were in your country? But Terri isn't what this thread is about, so I will end that part of it here.

As for your friend, yes he will experience far more restrictions then he is now where he's at. But with the way our court and legal system here are set up, there is little, if anything, that anybody can do about it. The courts denied Terri Schiavo her rights, so you can very well bet that death row inmates will be denied their rights too. Organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union are slowly losing their credibility under an increasingly conservative government, but that's mostly due to actions they took in the past that got them where they are now. There is less solidarity here for workers, as more jobs are being migrated low-wage countries that don't support as many human rights. The unions have simply asked for more then the companies could afford to give I suppose. And then obviously, a state government is in a position to where they need to save money and cut costs. It's inevitable, they will go where ever the state puts them, and there is nothing that the conservative Republican congress, nor the court system for that matter, will do about it.

In this country (the United States), when your rights are annulled, you are finished. You are history. You are reduced to being property, an inanimate object. You are either property of the State, or you are some legal gardian's property. And don't think for one moment that a person in this situation has any right to recreation or stimulation, they don't. I am sorry, specht, I just hate the truth so much. But that's the situation your pen pal is in.


03-28-2005, 02:45 AM
Hi MrCoffee, thanks for your explenation. I understood - that is what was told here, showing us images from a doctor on US television - that Terri would feel anything, because her coma is so deep, she has no feelings of pain left. And, I do think, if you are married to someone, he/she will know you so well, that he/she can make a decission wether you would want to be in this situation, or not... Like I said, I am happy I have a will, so oneone has to doubt what I would want, being in such a situation...

I am very sorry to hear the things you wrote about being 'property to the state'. I never realized it was this bad. Over here we don't know such a thing, because we don't have life long sentences (life long here means 25 years, and if you behave well, you get out after 2/3 of that time) and of course we don't have death sentences. So over here you will always have a chance of beginning over again. And this means the people in prison will always have some courage to wait untill they get out. Over here there are sounds that the punishments should be a bit thougher, because over here you can get away with big things, and only serve two years.. I guess it would be a good thing if the punishments were a bit higher in some cases... But always give people a scond chance if they want to go for it.

If you are a repetitive offender, you will be put away for live, not in prison, but in a different institution. It's not a mental hospital, but it a place where they can observe you to see if you are improving, so you can go back to society. This is for sexual offenders, or peple who have killed. But, I think here it is still a big shock to society if someone is being killed. All the media aer all over it, because we don't know this very well. Unlike the US, where it happens more. I guess - because of the law on weapons (we could never walk into a store and buy a weapon) and because of the public opinion (as far as we know) over in the US violence is more common...

If you have any more news about the movement in OHIO, I would really love to know. I js\ust got a letter from my penpal, and he is telling that there are some issues there, but he didn't want to get into it. I guess this is what he was talking about. The date was more than a week ago, so he wouldn't be sure then, on what was going to happen. Do you know by any chance if the rules about receiving letters and stuff will be worse in this other prison?


Just Me 1973
03-28-2005, 07:26 PM
Here is a link to a report on Ohio State penitentiary:

03-28-2005, 07:54 PM
Please lets keep this thread on topic, it is about the move of Ohio's DR. I do understand that there are many issues, but lets keep this thread on the move.

Thank You

On a second note I believe the move will take place in july from what I have heard. This also will do away with the honors pod they now have at Mansfield, a pod for DR inmates that have been ticket free. They get a little more freedom the regular DR. They have earned that and now that means nothing. They already have a Death Sentence hanging over their heads.

"Youngstown 'supermax'
facility. The jail only lets the 465 inmates out of
their cells for an hour a day and denies them phone
calls and contact visits.

It is currently under investigation over the deaths of
two prisoners.

One was repeatedly hit by officers with stun guns when
he went into a diabetic fit."

From what I have heard this is a H***Hole.

My opinion is this is just to save money, so they can sit on the collective hinnys even more then they do now. They can keep these guys locked up 23/7 and not be bothered.
Just my :twocents:


03-29-2005, 02:09 AM
Please lets keep this thread on topic, it is about the move of Ohio's DR. I do understand that there are many issues, but lets keep this thread on the move.

Thank You

On a second note I believe the move will take place in july from what I have heard. This also will do away with the honors pod they now have at Mansfield, a pod for DR inmates that have been ticket free. They get a little more freedom the regular DR. They have earned that and now that means nothing. They already have a Death Sentence hanging over their heads.

Sorry to go off topic...

But, what is a honors pod? And being ticket free?
I have no idea what to expect when he is being moved? Can he still get mail, can I send him books through, can I send pictures? I have no idea, being completely new at this (I started wrting with my penpal in september last year...)


HuGzz 'N StUff
03-29-2005, 06:50 AM
Yes, You can send mail, pictures and books!

The Honors Pod was (they are now locked up 22 1/2 hours a day), but it was for the guys who had not had a write up in at least 3 years. They were out of their cells for Rec 6.5 hours a day at one time.

I was told that they will try to make the privilages as close as to what they have now at the Supermax. I know the Wardens have sent out a Memo to the DR inmates. When I get mine from my Hubby, I will post it on here.

I think people have to understand that the State of Ohio CAN'T send the DR inmates over to the OSP, and treat them like they are under Administration Segregation.

03-29-2005, 09:01 AM
Thank you, mrs hunnyBunny!
Now I know a little more about the situation down there. Is you husband also in Mansfield, serving DR? Can I send you a PM to get to know more about the facility?


03-29-2005, 02:13 PM
Softie -- just a minor request -- both my husband and I are diabetics -- we don't have fits -- diabetics go in to comas and have seizures -- not fits. Just a minor thing but it means a lot to us.

Thanks for all you do for PTO.


03-29-2005, 05:50 PM
Vim that was taken from a news article about the moved, not my words. That is why " around it.


07-26-2005, 11:26 PM
This is where you can find information, in a little more detail about why we are fighting against having our loved ones moved from Mansfields' death row, to the supermax prison in Youngstown.(aka- OSP) Ohio is still trying to move them!

"Prisoners confined in supermax facilities endure 24-hour isolation..."
"few opportunities for visits with family..."
"incarceration at OSP is synonymous with extreme isolation..."
"OSP inmates are deprived of almost any enviromental or sensory stimuli and of almost all human contact."
"Prisoners housed in the high maximum-security unit are subject to extreme isolation in tiny cells that fail to meet national standards established by the American Correctional Association."

"resulting in incarceration under conditions that, individually and in totality, constitute significant and atypical hardship as compared with the ordinary incidents of prison life..."
"the serious consequences of long term solitary confinement. Conditions are so stark at this institution that a significant percentage of the prisoners have attempted or commited suicide."
"that the conditions at the OSP violate the Constitution, and customary international human rights law."

The following site contains some more information, cost, etc.
It is an online petition that you can view with or without signing. But for my brothers sake...I hope you sign it!:thumbsup:

07-27-2005, 10:05 PM
For the person who said they can't move these men from Mansfield into Seg conditions, all I can say is just look at Texas. When they moved from Ellis to Terrel (now Polunsky), that is exactly what happenned. Courts allow great lattitude in how a state manages its prison population and since the USSC has upheld the use of Supermax facilities. his si why the fight against this move is so vital to the ones who have friends on family languishing on the second most active row last year

HuGzz 'N StUff
07-28-2005, 07:18 PM
It seems that the ppl from psych were at Mansfields DR on Monday. The Men were told if they didn't go to OSP, they would be going to somewhere else, but they were leaving ManCI. We have OSP and Lucasville that are Maximum Security in Ohio. We have one level 4 Close Security Prison in Ohio, that is ManCI. Looks like the pickins' are slim.

08-04-2005, 05:07 AM
Is there already some more news? I've been waiting for a letter from my penpal for quite soem weeks now, and haven't heard anything. It's not like him, to not write back.. Can it be they stopped mailing letters for a while because of the move?

thank you, Specht

HuGzz 'N StUff
08-04-2005, 12:18 PM
Is there already some more news? I've been waiting for a letter from my penpal for quite soem weeks now, and haven't heard anything. It's not like him, to not write back.. Can it be they stopped mailing letters for a while because of the move?

thank you, Specht

No, the Men have not been moved yet! The mail is running as usual as far as I know.

10-06-2005, 12:29 PM
I spoke with my Mother this morning...she tells me the decision has been made...the men are to be moved to OSP. Very sad for my brother, and all the other men this morning...:(

11-05-2005, 01:25 AM
Sorry, I haven't been online for quite some time because of all sorts of personal stuff... I read the news about the men being moved. my penpal wrote me in the beginning of Oktober and didn't say anything about it. Are they already in the other place? And if so, how are they?

thanks for any information!

11-05-2005, 08:29 AM
In My opinion, supermaxes should not even exist! There is a whole thread on PTO about supermaxes if you want more info on them.

I do not think this is a good thing at all that they are being moved. Supermaxes should be illegal!

11-05-2005, 09:31 AM
my friend was moved just the other day , he isnt very happy , due to the potential loss of privelages , he hasnt been in any trouble and the loss of what little they were allowed as rewards is upsetting to him and i .