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.”


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


Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Indiana man's casket discovered missing from gravesite after wife's death
Indiana man's casket discovered missing from gravesite after wife's death

An Indiana woman is angry after learning her father’s casket is missing from his gravesite, WISH reported. Mary Helen Samson Bovenschen died Feb. 18 at the age of 88. She was to buried next to her husband, Charles Bovenschen, who died Nov. 4, 2006 at age 80. But the couple’s daughter, Sandi Vasel, was stunned when speaking...
Proposed bill in California would provide a choice in driver's license photos
Proposed bill in California would provide a choice in driver's license photos

Have you ever met anyone who liked their driver’s license photo?  Of course not.  Photos on driver’s licenses always seem to show a person at his or her worst, but a bill proposed in the California state legislature would give drivers a choice, KABC reported. The bill would allow drivers to have multiple photos taken...
Teen admits to killing Tennessee couple, setting apartment on fire
Teen admits to killing Tennessee couple, setting apartment on fire

A Tennessee man was arrested in connection with the deaths of a Memphis couple who was found dead in an apartment that caught fire Thursday afternoon. Aareon Berryman, 18, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, especially aggravated robbery, aggravated arson, possession of marijuana with the intent to manufacture or sell, and possession...
Convicted murderer mistakenly released from jail 
Convicted murderer mistakenly released from jail 

The Georgia jail that mistakenly released a convicted murderer said no one will be disciplined for what happened. The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office realized a mistake was made after the murder victim's family saw the murderer on the streets. "Sounds like somebody didn't relay the right information or didn't look," one DeKalb County...
Falling in love at Dayton Opera: Young artists sing ‘Barber of Seville’
Falling in love at Dayton Opera: Young artists sing ‘Barber of Seville’

It’s easy to imagine an 8-year-old girl aspiring to become a ballerina or a 14-year-old musician dreaming of rock star fame. But what accounts for a decision to set your sights on an opera career? We posed that question to the four young opera singers participating in Dayton Opera’s Artist-in-Residence program this season. Selected from...
More Stories