Ohio Penitentiary Research Paper

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On April 21st, 1930, Ohio State Penitentiary, which was built in Ohio’s capital, Columbus, in 1834, caught fire and killed hundreds of inmates. When returning for the night, they discovered that a fire was started within cell blocks G and H. It was only after the fire had been doused, that everyone had realized that the scaffolding, on the outside walls of those cell blocks, was what had caught fire. At the time, the prison was known for its poor conditions. The prison was only meant to hold 1,500 people, but at the time of the fire, it was housing 4,300 inmates. This disaster goes down in history as the worst fire at any prison in the United States. The fire had killed at least 322 inmates, some of whom were burned to death because they were not released from their …show more content…

The Ohio Penitentiary was built in 1834 at a time when the population around the state was relatively low.The prison was only intended to hold a maximum of about 1,500 inmates but in 1930, at the time of the fire, there were around 4,300. After the fire, a lot of things were changed. Parole was started, for instance, after the fire, which allowed for more people to serve their sentence. This also prevented overcrowding. Laws were also passed to allow a minimum sentence served. This means that smaller crimes would require shorter sentences. Something else that came into effect was that instead of having to unlocking the doors individually, a new system was introduced that gave the ability to unlock several doors from one single location. Many more lives could have been saved if the doors would have been implemented before the fire. A main reason why so many people died in the fire is that the guards were afraid to open the cell doors for fear of a riot. The prison was overcrowded, and inmates were unhappy. But, the incident could have been “prevented” by letting the prisoners out of their cells, there would

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