Welcome to Ohio's Prison System

Welcome to Ohio's Prison System

...Or at least my experience of it in words and pictures. See my blog entries along with photos.

I'll be adding photos for your viewing pleasure.

I'm out here for part2 pictures and their great series Hard Time for National Geographic. This is for season 2 that will air in February and March 2011.

Basketball Waiting

Basketball Waiting
A look inside an outdoor rec cage

Sunday, September 12, 2010

One Week

Not the great Buster Keaton silent-era film but our first week in on this two week cycle at the Southern Ohio Correctional Institution, Lucasville, Ohio. We've been inside this round for six days. It takes a toll. We hear so many inmates tell us that they are innocent, and I'm sure some are. We hear many tell us that we're being controlled by Jews and Bankers, and that African Americans are, well, I can't repeat what we're hearing. It's disgusting and poisonous. The hatred is truly awful, but sadly what is said hear is not so far removed from what we hear or what is implied in much of the political and ideological rhetoric being spewed forth today by some on the far right. Sad.

This is also a place where some inmates have a tendency to through feces and urine from their cells. That's basically because, so we're told, the inmates can't get at one another most any other way.

This happens in the segregation unit, where inmates are locked down 23 hours a day. It's called 4b, maximum security (5 is the highest rating in the system and is considered super-max.) Here they get, if the "range" or cell tier has been well-behaved, 1 hour of recreation a day, five days a week. They alternate indoor and outdoor rec but in cages. Each block has an upper and lower tier called ranges and their are televisions on the wall blaring sound. But of course they're yelling all day and night anyway. The screaming and banging is actually called "cell banging" again because they can't get at one another (into fights I mean) any other way. So you can cell bang or throw or spray poop and pee. We haven't been hit yet.

The only time they're outside is on the walk from block to the cages and back. But, whenever they are out of their cells they have to be handcuffed behind their backs and ankle chains are put on. They wear orange and white tops that they can take off in the cage and their cell. They all earned their way to Lucasville for violating rules inside.

Crazy world.

Photos will soon accompany this entry! Stay tuned! 

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