FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 23, 1996
MANSFIELD PRISON UNDERGOING MASSIVE SEARCH
(Mansfield) -- A force of several hundred personnel, led by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC), entered the Mansfield Correctional Institution Monday evening to search for drugs, weapons, and other contraband. In addition to the search, every inmate in the prison's main compound will be tested for drug usage.
There is no danger to the public. The prison is locked down with all prisoners in their cells. Extra security has been added to the prison's perimeter.
"We are conducting this massive search as part of an overall process of reviewing operations throughout the Department especially in our high security prisons," said Reginald A. Wilkinson, DRC Director. "We implemented a drug interdiction program with zero tolerance for drugs in prisons. Mansfield Correctional Institution's inmate drug testing levels have not been acceptable, and we are taking strong action to do something about it," said Wilkinson.
DRC personnel are being supported by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The search will continue around the clock until it is completed. It is estimated that the lockdown will exist for several days.
This is the largest and most sophisticated preemptive search of a prison in the history of Ohio corrections.
A cell by cell search is being conducted by DRC Strategic Response Teams (SRT) and Special Tactical and Response (STAR) teams comprised of staff from prisons throughout the state. A force of Highway Patrol drug detection canines are being used to search inmate work areas, schools, and administration buildings.
Mansfield Correctional Institution is a close security prison that houses over 2,200 prisoners. The prison consists of the main compound that houses general population, disciplinary segregation, and death row inmates, and two minimum security camps. The search focuses on the main compound.
Director Wilkinson expresses his gratitude for the invaluable assistance the Highway Patrol provided in planning and implementing this initiative and to the many DRC staff involved in the mission.
Director Wilkinson will conduct a media briefing at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, September 24, 1996, at the Mansfield Correctional Institution.
For further information, please contact Joe Andrews, DRC Public Information Office at 614-752-1150 or Sgt. John Born, Ohio State Highway Patrol, at 614-466-2660.
This page last updated: September 26, 1996