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

Medical helicopter requested to crash east of Ludlow Falls
Medical helicopter requested to crash east of Ludlow Falls

Ohio 55 is blocked in both directions near the intersection with Kessler-Frederick Road in Miami County following a crash involving multiple vehicles.  Additional details were not available, but initial reports indicate a medical helicopter was requested to the scene.  We’ll update this page as we learn more.  A medical helicopter...
JUST IN: Retail store closes at the Dayton Mall after more than a decade
JUST IN: Retail store closes at the Dayton Mall after more than a decade

A retail store that has served customers chocolates, coffee and wine for more than a decade in front of the Dayton Mall shut down permanently this week, its franchise owner confirmed to this news outlet today. The final day for Winans Chocolates + Coffees — which sold chocolates, coffee and wine — was Monday, May 21, according to ...
Ohio college trustee removed from day job following controversial comments on women
Ohio college trustee removed from day job following controversial comments on women

A trustee at a local college was let go from his day job today as the president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary following controversial comments he made years ago. Paige Patterson, one of 28 members of Cedarville University’s board of trustees, has been removed from his post as the leader of the seminary in Fort Worth, Texas...
Plan to remove buffer between homes and new warehouse upsets residents
Plan to remove buffer between homes and new warehouse upsets residents

The Hamilton Planning Commission put on hold a decision allowing a company’s proposed new facility construction so the business can talk with neighbors about how to potentially block the new building from their view. Owners of homes south of Hamilton Mason Road and north of Tylersville Road, near Hamilton Enterprise Park Drive, urged the planning...
Sinclair to close Eaton and Austin Landing locations
Sinclair to close Eaton and Austin Landing locations

Sinclair Community College is planning to cease operations at its Preble County Learning Center and at an office at Austin Landing. The Preble County center in Eaton will be completely closed by August, according to a resolution approved by trustees and reviewed during a board meeting Tuesday. Sinclair leaders decided to close the learning center because...
More Stories