The Ohio State Penitentiary Fire In 1930's History

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The Ohio State Penitentiary fire took place in 1930 becoming the worst prison fire in Ohio's history, and one of the worst in U.S history. The Ohio State Penitentiary was notorious for rough conditions and overcrowding. Weak administration and lack of trained personnel contributed to the poor response to the disaster. The Ohio Penitentiary fire was a devastating event that ended in the death of many people. Following the tragedies associated with this disaster, it became evident that the prison system desperately needed change. The impact of these events led to many changes in the penal system, including the establishment of the Ohio parole board in 1931.
The Ohio State Penitentiary was built in 1834 and was designed to hold a maximum of 1,500 inmates. The prison was known for its poor conditions and being constantly overcrowded. In April of 1930 construction crews were working on the expansion of the prison to resolve this overcrowding issue. Scaffolding was set up along one side of the building where, on the night of April 21, a fire broke out. At the time of the incident 4,300 inmates were housed in the prison, nearly three times the amount that was appropriate for the facility. The cell-block adjacent to the fire housed 800 prisoners; by the time the fire had become noticeable, many them had already …show more content…

The response and recovery of a prison fire will be quite different from that of, for example, a category 4 hurricane. Because a natural disaster such as a hurricane affects such a large area, the response and recovery require a great amount of effort from state, local, and sometimes federal organizations. Additionally, the federal government may be involved in the recovery phase if the state runs out of resources. The Ohio Penitentiary fire did not affect as wide an area, and the government was not involved in the response and recovery of this event in the same

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