Lucasville Prison Riot

From Ohio History Central

On April 11, 1993, Easter Sunday, approximately 450 prisoners in Cellblock L of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, in Lucasville, Ohio, rioted. The Southern Ohio Correctional Facility is a maximum security prison. The riot apparently occurred for several reasons. Chief among these reasons was a fear among Muslim inmates that correction officials would force the prisoners to have tuberculosis vaccinations. Taking these vaccinations would have violated the prisoners' faith. It also appears that some inmates desired to settle old disputes with other prisoners.

The riot lasted ten days. On the first day, some rioters beat five other inmates to death and placed their bodies in the exercise yard. Over the next several days, four other inmates died at the hands of the rioters. The rioters had also taken eight prison guards hostage. On April 15, the inmates strangled guard Robert Vallandingham to death, hoping to convince state officials to take the prisoners' demands seriously. The inmates also caused more than forty million dollars in damage to the prison. After officials agreed to review the prisoners' twenty-one demands, the rioters surrendered on April 21, 1993.

Following the Lucasville riot, the Ohio government spent millions of dollars to improve the state's prisons. As economic conditions in Ohio have declined in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the state has reduced much of this additional funding.

See Also


  1. Lynd, Staughton. Lucasville: The Untold Story of a Prison Uprising. N.p.: Temple University Press, 2004.