Violence surges at Dayton’s female prison, report says


Inmate violence has surged in recent years at Dayton’s all-female prison, according to state inspection reports obtained by the Dayton Daily News.

There were 75 inmate-on-inmate assaults last year at Dayton Correctional Institution, compared to 40 in 2015 and 14 in 2014. Inmate-on-staff assaults likewise grew. There were 27 last year, up from 18 in 2015 and only 3 in 2014.

The findings come from an unannounced Correctional Institution Inspection Committee inspection of the Dayton Correctional Institution on June 27 and 28. Read the full report below. 

This news outlet obtained the report using Ohio’s public records laws. It also obtained inspections of other state prisons, which the CIIC no longer posts online.

RELATED: State prison inspection agency in ‘limbo,’ not posting findings online

Ed Voorhies, managing director of operations at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, said DCI is designed to house the state’s most violent female offenders, though many of those inmates were housed elsewhere in prior years as DCI lacked mental health facilities.

Now that mental health services are in place at DCI, the facility is home to the highest-level security female inmates. The prison’s population the day of the inspection was 878.

“The mission of DCI is to be our high-security female facility,” he said.

At the same time, he added, “The female offender population is just becoming more violent globally.”

To address this, he said they are instituting controls that were historically more common at high-level male prisons.

RELATED: Report says conditions improve at Dayton prison

As the offenders have become more violent, use of force by staff also increased by 34.7 percent last year, according to the inspection.

“The overwhelming majority of their use of force incidents are what we call ‘reactive uses of force,’” he said. “That’s where if the staff don’t take action, somebody is going to get hurt.”

He said only six staff members received any kind of injuries in these incident, and zero inmates required medical treatment.

State Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, has advocated for improved conditions at the prison and was pleased to see improvements in some of these areas, though he noted there are “ongoing issues.”

“Violence obviously is an issue they need to work on,” he said. “It seems to be pretty high, so I hope the director (of state prisons) and the warden there will work on that.”

RELATED: Sex, drugs, use of force problems plague women’s prison, report says

Prior to June, the last CIIC inspection of DCI was in October 2015 and highlighted the prison’s progress in addressing concerns of inappropriate staff-inmate relationships, increased use of force and lacking mental health programs.

This year’s inspection didn’t mention staff-inmate relationships. It did note that of inmates who were surveyed, 25 reported experiencing sexual harassment and eight reported sexual abuse from a staff member.

This is half the number of sexual encounters reported in 2015. Inspections that year noted 18 staff members, including an investigator and a chaplain, had been forced to resign due to allegations of inappropriate relationships with inmates. In one case guards found underwear snuck into the facility allegedly by a guard.

Voorhies said zero staff members were terminated last year for inappropriate staff-inmate relationships; he credits Warden Wanza Jackson for putting leadership in place to address that problem.

MORE: How did your schools do on the state report card?

The June 2017 recent report noted that mental health staffing and services improved from the last inspection. Since June 2016, there were six suicide attempts but no completed suicides, the report notes.

“I think we’re going to continue to see improvements in Dayton,” Voorhies said.

The CIIC is a committee of state lawmakers tasked with monitoring conditions at Ohio’s prisons. The agency has been in a state of limbo since its last director left in mid-2016; some state leaders have suggested doing away with it.

Antani noted that prisons are a major part of the state budget, and said he hopes the CIIC gets a new director.

“Hopefully we will retain and improve on it,” Antani said, “Maintaining legislative oversight of how almost 10 percent of the general fund is spent is very important.”

MORE FROM THIS REPORTER:

Englewood mom not alone as more locals face deportation, attorney says

Strict rules in Ohio program deny payouts to thousands of victims

Ohio’s toughest sheriff weighs in on Arpaio pardon

Are black female inmates given smaller cells at Montgomery county jail?

County reaches $375K settlement with pepper-sprayed inmate

County’s review of questionable tax breaks slowed by appraisal appeals

FULL DCI INSPECTION REPORT:



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Ohio 63 closed west of Lebanon
Ohio 63 closed west of Lebanon

Ohio 63 is closed between Ohio 741 and McClure Road, west of Lebanon, due to a crash. The Ohio Department of Transportation is recommending drivers use an alternate route. MORE: Ohio 63 in Warren County reopens after April crash Arrow boards or signs will be in place to alert motorists. There were no reported injuries, according to Warren County officials...
Shoplifting suspect leads Englewood police on chase in stolen car, officers say
Shoplifting suspect leads Englewood police on chase in stolen car, officers say

A man suspected of shoplifting at an Englewood Walmart on Tuesday led police on a brief chase after officers learned the getaway car was stolen, police said.  After the suspect left Walmart, he stopped at a nearby Meijer gas station to get gas for the car, which was stolen, Englewood police said. The police chief, who was in the area, spotted...
Cottrel: Christmas traditions part of why people like living in Enon
Cottrel: Christmas traditions part of why people like living in Enon

The weather outside was indeed frightful Friday evening when I ventured out in search of the Enon/Mad River Twp. Santa Parade. The first significant snow was falling and visibility was bad enough that Santa would have needed Rudolph if it was Christmas Eve. I drove into the middle of Enon and lowered my windows. In the distance I could hear sirens...
$1M bond for Oxford taxi owner accused of raping 2 Miami U. students
$1M bond for Oxford taxi owner accused of raping 2 Miami U. students

Bond has been set at $1 million for an Oxford man accused of raping two Miami University students in his vehicle that serves as a taxi service. Sherman Jackson II, the owner and operator of Sherman’s Safe Ride, was video arraigned Tuesday on two counts of rape and two counts of kidnapping. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Thursday...
Trump signs defense bill; shutdown stlll looms next week
Trump signs defense bill; shutdown stlll looms next week

President Donald Trump signed a defense authorization bill into law Tuesday, but that doesn’t settle the prospect of a partial federal government shutdown Dec. 22. The bill authorizes defense programs for 2018, many of which will impact Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, but reaching a funding deal that would pay for the programs has eluded lawmakers...
More Stories