"Yesterday (Monday), around 6 p.m. there was an incident that took place that involved under 20 inmates," said JoEllen Smith, assistant communications chief at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitations and Corrections. "It was inmates involved in an altercation with one another. The staff there responded very quickly and were able to break up the incident."
Several employees from the facility contacted the Portsmouth Daily Times about the situation, prompting a call to prison officials, resulting in Smith's response.
"There was an excellent response from the staff in terms of breaking up the incident," Smith said. "There were no injuries to any of the staff involved, no serious injuries to any of the inmates involved. Nobody had to receive any outside medical treatment. There is currently both an internal investigation that is pending, as well as an investigation involving the (Ohio) State Highway Patrol."
SOCF was the site of a major riot April 11, 1993, involving about 450 prisoners in cellblock L. The riot lasted 10 days and resulted in inmates killing nine other inmates and Corrections Officer Robert Vallandingham, who was one of eight guards taken hostage in the uprising.
Frank Lewis may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232, or firstname.lastname@example.org.