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Stop the Ohio Super-Max!

Ohio presently imprisons some 41,000 prisoners in 23 different penitentiaries designed to hold 21,738. It plans to build six more prisons, including a super-maximum, or Super Max, prison which will confine only 500 prisoners and cost taxpayers $15 million to build. Super max prisons, such as the U.S. Penitentiary at Marion, IL, or the Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City, CA, or even the Super Max Unit at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, OH, increase and concentrate the violence. Long term isolation increases prisoners' psychosis and anger levels so that they react violently when released.

Super max prisons are supposed to imprison the "worst of the worst". Yet according to the Prison Discipline Study, a report done by the Prisoner's Rights Union in California, the groups of prisoners most frequently abused by solitary confinement are jailhouse lawyers, union organizers, activists, those verbally expressing their opinions and even those reporting conditions of confinement to people outside prison.

Super max prisons give guards and administrative staff a green light in conducting and/or condoning the use of violence against prisoners. This includes "cell extractions" where prisoners are attacked with chemical agents, beaten and restrained for trivial <%-1>re<%0>asons or no reason at all, long term sensory deprivation, etc. This increases the number of lawsuits filed in which taxpayer's money is used to defend the perpetrators of these acts, most of whom are guilty.

<%-4>Deterrence is not a concern of prison officials who operate super max prisons. As shown by the deaths of two guards in the control unit at Marion, IL. or the hostage takings in the Super Max unit at Lucasville. Rather, super max prisons are destructive without a constructive element. It is not only a prison based on psychological conditioning but also a prison designed to decrease the mental stability of it's victims, thus making them more unpredictable and less controllable, a price which will be paid for by society when these prisoners are eventually released.
To put a stop to the construction of a super max prison in Ohio, and to suggest that taxpayers money be allotted to rehabilitative programs instead, write the chairman of the Ohio general Assembly and any or all of the below.

Ohio General Assembly
C/O The Chairman
State Office Tower
Columbus, OH. 43215

Reginald Wilkinson, Director
Ohio Dept. of Rehab. & Corr.
1050 Freeway Dr. North
Columbus, OH. 43229

Paul Mifsud
Governor's Chief of Staff
State Office Tower, Columbus, OH. 43215

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