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Mold, Staph Infections and Broken Utilities at the Ohio State Penitentiary
By Robert Reed,
Jan. 1, 2007

Greetings to Kunta Kenyatta. I have been reading a lot about you and all the strides you've made. Keep it up and keep helping, a loud voice is powerful.
We need voices that they can't cover up.

I, and the other inmates here at the Ohio State Penitentiary, have been
trying to contact someone to come in and conduct a report on our living
conditions. They are really poor. For a newer prison, it is bad. It's worse
than Pickaway's old units. I have tried to address this within the grievance
process, but it's just been spun around for more than a year. Please call
the federal health department or send me an address. They need to take
samples of this mold in our cells, and we need other areas addressed. A lot
of sickness and staph is showing up here now!

I wrote the Ohio Justice and Policy Center. They know, but we need some
outside authorities to look at these inhumane conditions. I have made a list
of some of the issues, off the top of my head. I appreciate your time and
promise that when I'm released I will share my voice and give back for all
the help I receive. I have 10 months left on a 6 year sentence, so it's
almost over. But many more need help because things have taken a downhill
slide since my incarceration. The thing that's crazy is that this place
covers everything up, and won't do anything to help offenders. They know how
to neglect basic human needs and abuse people, but that's about it. I hope
you can help. Thanks brother.

- Sinks leak and backed up
- Urinals backed up
- Toilets leak profusely
- Exhaust fan broken
- Floor is constantly wet and slippery
- Condensation
- Unreasonably dirty
- Black mold spreading fast
- Shower wall leaks into East living area

- West side unreasonably cold
- Window won't stay up(west window)
- 200 & 300 rows cable doesn't work(west side)
- No drinking fountain in West dorm
- Fountain broken in East dorm

Laundry Room
- Not all washers work(3 out of 4 work)
- 2 dryers work of 4, the other 2 need electrical work
- Holes in wall leading to outside

West Day Room
- Not enough tables
- Not enough chairs
- Many chairs broken

East Day Room
- Many parts of weight machine broken, for example:
* sit-up bench broken
* cables snapped
* parts missing
- ice situation unsanitary

Inmates are braking out with staph infections and the medical staff is not
helping them. Please call the Health Department for us, somebody who can get
somebody here ASAP and see how bad it is. I'm taking care of the other

In God's Speed,
R. Reed

R. Reed #424-893
Ohio State Penitentiary
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd.
Youngstown OH 44505

An Opportunity for Activism

Would you like to write a letter to the Ohio Department of Health?
Here is the contact information:

(this office handles: Food, Mold, Sewage, Private Water Systems)
* Bureau of Environmental Health
Ohio Department of Health
246 North High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
E-mail: [email protected]
Telephone: (614) 466-1390

* J. Nick Baird, M.D.
Director, Ohio Department of Health
Ohio Department of Health
246 North High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
E-mail: [email protected]

(this office handles: Rules and Regulations)
* Tamara Malkoff, General Counsel
Ohio Department of Health
246 North High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
E-mail: [email protected]

You may also write to the Ohio Justice adn Policy Center:

Ohio Justice & Policy Center
617 Vine Street
Suite 1309
Cincinnati, OH 45202-2416
E-mail: [email protected]
Telephone: (513) 421-1108

Or tell the Ohio State Penitentiary warden what you think:

Marc C. Houk, Warden
Ohio State Penitentiary
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Road
Youngstown, Ohio 44505
(330) 743-0700

You may contact Mr. Reed directly by writing to him at the address listed above. The following link offers tips for writing to prisoners:


If you'd like to contribute letters, articles, artwork, or educational materials to this website, please contact us at:
P.O. Box 422
The Plains, OH 45780
OR to:
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