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Ohio State Prison Information 

The Ohio Penitentiary was a prison that ceased operation in 1984. However, it is one of the oldest prisons in the United States with a history of about 150 years. At the peak of its operations in 1955, the prison housed a little over 5000 prisoners. In the years that it was operational, the Ohio penitentiary has housed very famous personalities such as General John H Morgan, Chester Himes, and Sam Sheppard.

The Ohio State Prison has been the subject of many incidents that have been controversial. The fire that broke out at the penitentiary premises on April 21, 1930, was the most devastating and debilitating in the prison’s history. It is alleged that even as the fire spread rapidly and was apparently out of control, the guards did not unlock the cells which led to the gory death of many inmates.

In the 1950s as part of a clinical study, Chester Southam, an immunologist, and oncologist injected cancer cells into the skin of some inmates. The purpose of his study was to find out if the immune system would reject the cancer cells or if it would grow. The ethical nature of his research brought up a lot of furor in the medical fraternity. He was later accused of fraud, deceit, and unprofessional conduct that led to yearlong probation from practice.

Ohio State Prison
In 1952, a riot broke out in Ohio state prison which would later come to be known as the “Halloween Riot”. On October 31st during Halloween, growing demand among inmates for a better quality of food and facilities erupted into a riot with a few dead and several injured.


1984 saw the closure of the Ohio Penitentiary. The property and buildings were later sold to a commercial entity.

Ohio State Penitentiary: The closure of Ohio Penitentiary gave birth to the Ohio State Penitentiary which is a high capacity Rehabilitation and Correction Center in Youngstown, Ohio.

As is usual in various modern prisons across the country, the infrastructure at Ohio State Penitentiary also has various levels and tiers named as Levels. Each level houses inmates according to the risk factor involved in housing them. Some of them who are classified as those that cannot adapt to normal living conditions are extremely violent and gang ring leaders are placed in Level 5. Heightened security is implemented on this level.

Level 4 inmates are also in the high-risk category. Like Level 5, they are also in a state of lockdown but have the freedom to move around although restricted in their respective blocks. Level 4 inmates are not subject to forceful scrutiny as that of Level 5. Other levels present are Level 3, 2 and 1,


Ohio State Prison Inmates
The Ohio State Penitentiary is known to be a maximum-security prison housing male offenders. This requires maximum security administration meted to the inmates. However, going hand in hand with heightened security measures are rehabilitative programs that serve the inmates a lot of good. Basic adult education programs and GED programs are free for the inmates. Some other programs hosted by the Ohio State Penitentiary are:

The Accepting Responsibility Program: This program helps inmates realize and comprehend the root causes that led to their incarceration. This program aims to find a general change in behavior and conduct of inmates.

The Fear Program: This program helps inmates channelize, control and get over their emotions. They are educated on how anger and violence affect their counterparts and the people around them. They are taught and instructed on how to achieve peaceful means to an otherwise volatile situation.

Inside-Out-Exchange Program: This Inside-Out Exchange Program is a flagship program run in partnership with the Ohio State Penitentiary and the Ohio State University wherein college student and incarcerated inmates gather to learn in the same classroom. Inside -Out helps students, as well as inmates, come together and avail of an education that highlights collective learning and problem-solving.

Visiting hours at Ohio State Penitentiary:

You will have to book an appointment. No visitations are encouraged without an appointment.

An appointment can be scheduled by calling (330)-743-0700 ext 2111.


Visitation timings: 8:30 am to 2:30 pm on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

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Search for anyone in the United States! 100% Confidential! Updated on December 1, 2021
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