Ohio defends policy banning riot inmate interviews

Jail

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The state is defending its practice of banning media interviews by prison inmates convicted for their role in Ohio’s deadly 1993 prison riot.

The state argues the inmates would gain a disproportionate degree of notoriety among fellow prisoners, leading to discipline problems that could engulf the prisons.

The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction calls a December lawsuit seeking such interviews frivolous and is asking a federal judge to dismiss the complaint.

The state’s Monday court filing responded to the lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio on behalf of several reporters and five inmates convicted for actions in the riot.

The lawsuit argues Ohio’s policy is inconsistent, especially when the backgrounds of other high-security inmates granted access to reporters is reviewed.

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