From Ohio History Central
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"Scene at the Ohio Penitentiary, Columbus" illustration from "Historical Collections of Ohio" by Henry Howe, 1847. The view was taken within the inner enclosure of the penitentiary, and shows inmates and guards in the courtyard. The Ohio Penitentiary opened in Columbus in 1834 and continued to house prisoners until 1979. The state had built a small prison in Columbus in 1813, but as the state's population grew the earlier facility was not able to handle the number of prisoners sent to it by the courts. The Ohio Penitentiary in the nineteenth century reflected the common belief that prison was more for punishment than for rehabilitation. Conditions within the prison were primitive. Prisoners first slept on straw mattresses, although eventually beds were built. Food was very simple, usually consisting of cornbread, beans, and bacon. Prisoners were required to work in one of the prison industries, which made everything from harnesses and shoes to barrels and brooms.