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Did Warden Seek SOCF Riot?

In April, 1993, prisoners at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF) rebelled in what became the longest 2>prison siege in US history that left 10 dead. PLN has provided extensive coverage of the rebellion, its origins and its aftermath. Some SOCF prisoners have claimed that the rebellion was deliberately provoked by SOCF warden Arthur Tate in an effort to build a higher security prison at SOCF.

recently received a copy of a March 22, 1993, memo, "RE: Request to Construct a Maximum Security Unit at SOCF," sent by Tate to Eric Dahlberg, the Ohio DOC's South Region Director. In the memo Tate reiterates his view that a newer, higher security control unit type prison needs to be built at SOCF to house maximum security prisoners. He states: "I am fully cognizant of our department's inability to finance a serious building project at this time, however, the attached project would require significantly less of an expenditure but create a high security unit that would enable us to more effectively handle inmates requiring this level of security." ".. I cannot stress enough our need for a unit of this nature. We are suggesting that this unit be constructed in the existing space formerly known as the death row recreation area in J block."

Conveniently enough, less than a month after Tate wrote the memo the rebellion broke out. Past articles in PLN about SOCF conditions indicate that while he was warden Tate continually worsened conditions making the rebellion all but inevitable. Tate's memo indicates there was certainly a motive to do so.

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