Ohio to move its death row inmates

From: Cleveland.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio’s death row is moving again.
Oct 3rd, 2011
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction announced today that it would consolidate its two death row locations into a single spot, moving condemned inmates to the re-opened Chillicothe Correctional Institution.

The department houses 145 death row inmates at prisons in Mansfield and Youngstown. The current death row living quarters at those prisons will be converted into 300 maximum security cells that will house the most violent inmates.

It is part of prisons Director Gary Mohr’s plan to create a new, three-tiered prison system that essentially segregates inmates who cause violence within prisons, many of them gang-affiliated prisoners. Mohr says putting violent inmates into high-security cells will help improve safety and encourage more inmates to take advantage of rehabilitation programming.

Ohio also has two death row inmates with serious medical ailments who are kept at a prison medical center in the Columbus area and one female death row inmate who is housed at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville. Those three inmates will remain where they are.

This is the fifth time death row has been moved since 1885, the last move coming in 2005 when the department split its death row between Mansfield Correctional Institution and the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown.

The death row relocation will be completed in January.

Officials moving to shutter Nevada State Prison

From: Nevada Appeal
By GEOFF DORNAN, July 20, 2011

Prison officials are moving ahead with plans to close down the historic Nevada State Prison on Fifth Street.

Since May, when the Legislature voted to shut NSP down, Director of Corrections Greg Cox has been slowly moving inmates and staff to other institutions as space became available. He said about 130 close-custody and special-needs inmates have already been moved out of NSP to institutions including Warm Springs and Northern Nevada Correctional Center, both in Carson City.

The most dangerous were moved to Ely State Prison, Nevada’s maximum-security institution.

Some special-needs inmates were moved to Lovelock Correctional Center, 70 miles northeast of Reno along Interstate 80.

High Desert Correctional Center in southern Nevada, the state’s newest prison, will get nearly all of the more than 500 remaining inmates. That institution has two new and vacant units with enough capacity to hold those inmates.

Cox said the closure is being handled in a four-phase process designed to “limit the impact on staff and the community.”

“The Legislature’s intent and the department’s goal is to complete the closure in a safe, secure and efficient manner and to do this with as few staff layoffs as possible,” he said.

More than 200 corrections employees were assigned to NSP.

Cox told lawmakers in May that if they gave him time, he could greatly reduce the number of layoffs the closure would cause.

At the suggestion of state Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, the Legislature delayed the governor’s plan to close NSP by Oct. 31 back to March 31. Cox said that should reduce the projected 107 layoffs to 30 or less.

The department has already been able to close two units at NSP, which allowed it to move some staff to other area institutions where there are vacancies, including Lovelock.

Over the next few months, additional units will be closed as inmates are transferred out.

Cox told the Board of Examiners earlier this year that nearly all correctional staff willing to transfer would be able to keep a job. He has also said he expects some retirements among veteran officers who don’t want to leave the Carson City area.

The closure is driven by the fact that the antiquated design of NSP — parts of which are more than 100 years old — requires nearly twice as many correctional staff to operate as the state’s newest prison, High Desert in southern Nevada. Because of that difference, Cox testified during the legislative session, it costs $23,615 a year to keep inmates there, compared to just $14,061 at High Desert.

Read the rest here.