Crime / Courts

SOCF on lock-down after inmate-staff stabbing

Nikki Blankenship
Scioto County Candor

Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF) in Lucasville, remains on lockdown after a staff member was stabbed in an inmate on staff member incident which occurred at the prison earlier today.
“There was a serious inmate on staff assault today at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility involving one Correction Officer,” SOCF spokesperson JoEllen Smith stated. “There is an active investigation with the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The prison is currently locked down. I have no additional information to provide at this time.”
The staff member involved has been transported for medical care.
The stabbing is yet another act of violence to occur at SOCF. In 2016, the Columbus Dispatch stated that SOCF is “the state’s most violent prison,” citing such causes as gang activity, high drug use rates and inmate complaints of use of force by correctional officers.
According to the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee (CIIC)’s most recent report on SOCF, conducted in January of 2016, found that safety at the prison had improved since the previous inspection in 2014.
“Positively, preliminary data indicates that violence is decreasing at SOCF, and inmates predominantly reported that they are safe from other inmates,” the report stated. “Use of force remains a concern, particularly unjustified uses of OC spray, but it had also improved with both increased training and accountability. Another concern is the increase in inmates testing positive for illegal substances, indicating a flow of contraband into the institution.”
However, in May 2017, guards picketed, citing a fear violence may erupt due to the prison drug epidemic, overpopulation and under-staffing.
Then in June, SOCF had serious stabbing, which resulted in four inmates being transported for medical care. The four stabbings resulted from three incidents that occurred over a two day period.
SOCF is a maximum security prison that opened in 1972. The rates capacity is 1,638 inmates. At the time of the 2016 inspection, there were 1,228 inmates housed at the prison.

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