“On Sept. 9 and 10 an informational picket will be held across from the prison,” OCSEA Chapter 7330 Vice President Mike Dillow said.
Dillow said the union is enlisting the support of the general public in their opposition to the closing of the towers.
“We want them to come out and support and take a stand to help us fight to keep our guard towers open,” Dillow said.
The state is asking for the closing of four of the perimeter towers as a way of achieving the goal of eliminating 11 posts. According to the union, they are counter-proposing the closure of J1 cell block on all three shifts, which would equal six posts; eliminate the PM Recreation shift, four posts; eliminate the mental health escort, which would be .5 post; and eliminate CC1 third shift, one more post.
“The towers they want to close are the towers that played a vital role during the prison riot,” Dillow said.
On April 11, 1993, Easter Sunday, approximately 450 prisoners in cellblock L at SOCF rioted, killing corrections Officer Robert Vallandingham and nine other inmates.
Dillow said the informational picket line will last the entire day.
“We’ll start at 7 a.m. and go until 10 p.m.,” Dillow said. “We want citizens to come and show their support and voice their concerns.”
The prison is located on Ohio 728 directly across from the Valley Local Schools in Lucasville.
FRANK LEWIS may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232.