Things To Know About Lucasville Prison Riot, The Longest Prison Riot of Country

Lucasville Prison Riot

Not many remember April 11, 1993, is the day when the longest ever prison riot took place in the country’s history, known as the Lucasville Prison Riot. 

450 prisoners took over the maximum-security prison in Lucasville, Ohio, and created a massive riot.

The Lucasville prison riot lasted for 11 days and ten nights between the law enforcement and prisoners. 

It started when rioters killed five inmates who became the first Lucasville prison riot victims and captured the nation’s attention.

Here are some things to know about the Lucasville prison riot.

Violence Began Early

Five prisoners, “snitches,” were brutally killed in the open hours of the riot. Two of them were stabbed repeatedly upto 22 times, as per the autopsy results. After this, many inmates became the Lucasville prison riot victims, one being strangled by cords on day three after shoving plastic and paper in mouth.

Who built the prison?

George S. Voinovich, the father of Ohio’s governor George Voinovich was the architect behind the maximum-security prison of the state. 

1,000 Ohio National Guards were activated during the crisis

More than 1000 guards were called to stop the riots. Some of them slept in a sheep barn, some in a hog barn, and a beef barn. There were people from all walks of life in Guard. The camaraderie was unbelievable. 

Entry of reporters into the prison 

Afterward, reporters were allowed to report the Lucasville prison riot on national tv. All around, there was the smell of burnt mattresses lingering in the corridors of L block. There were debris and trash lines beyond iron bars.

 This riot scarred the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility forever. You can still see a fresh flower arrangement in the prison’s main hallway as a reminder of the 11-day human seige. 

Correction officer Robert Vallandigham is one of the ten officers who were Lucasville prison riot victims and died in a standoff. 

Tunneling Out suspicions

 It was day seven of the riot when Ohio National Guard troops moved their bulldozers to 11 yards of the Correctional Facility in Southern Ohio after they learned that some of the prisoners were digging tunnels way out. 

There were existing tunnels as big as a truck drive through which contained the piper and wirings of prisoners. To reach the tunnels, a person needed to go through 12-inch steel-reinforced concrete, and from there, it led back to the boiler room.

End of Crisis

Late evening on April 21, five hostages were released, and 60 prisoners were still inside who came out peacefully. Three hundred sixty of the total 450 inmates who were barricaded inside the cell block and walked out by then. 

This massive riot ended after an intense negotiation was made where prison officials agreed to review the complaints presented by inmates during the siege. These complaints revolved around tuberculosis testing to religious objection, and federal law to integrate prison cells. 

Five inmates were sentenced to death for their roles in the riots but remain on death row. Out of 50 inmates who faced charges, 47 were convicted.

Five inmates were given death sentences, and out of 50 with charges, 47 were convicted. The damage done to the prison cost the Ohio government 40 million dollars. You can still find Lucasville prison riot pictures and some videos on the internet. 


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