Last updated: July 24. 2013 1:41PM - 112 Views

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PDT Staff Writer

State Representative Terry Johnson (R-McDermott) has announced the release of state funding in support of the door control system upgrade project at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF) in Lucasville.

The State Controlling Board approved the transfer of $35,011 in Security Improvements-Statewide funding to the Door Control System Upgrades line item, to release $4,751 for the State Architect’s Office. It also released $30,260 to obtain design services for the project. The funding will support upgrading the security door control system. The 18-year-old control panel monitors and controls the locking system on 1,680 inmate cell doors.

The aging system often fails and is costly to repair.

“It is good that we are getting these much needed upgrades,” Johnson said. “I will continue to communicate to legislators and key policy makers the key role played by Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in our state’s penal system. The men and women who work there, as well as their families who support their service to Ohio, deserve only the best. These improvements are a start, but much more is needed.”

The proposed project will include installation of a programmable controller-based system interfaced through computers over Ethernet, eliminating the obsolete, expensive-to-repair system currently in use. The end result will be a door control system that will contribute to a safe and secure environment for inmates and staff while eliminating significant down time because of obsolete hardware.

Additionally, $133,477 has been released for the facility’s freezer repair project. The existing freezer and concrete pad were installed more than 20 years ago. The freezer is still operational, but the condenser and concrete mad need to be replaced.

Southern Ohio Correctional Facility Warden Donald Morgan had no comment on Wednesday.

SOCF opened in 1972 and is a Security Level 3 (close), 4 (maximum) and 5 (administrative maximum) facility. It houses approximately 1,243 male inmates.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at flewis@heartlandpublications.com.

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