The Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) is a supermax prison for men, located in Youngstown, Mahoning County, Ohio. It is the second prison to be called Ohio State Penitentiary, after the original OSP, which was in operation from 1834 to 1984 in what is now known as the Arena district in downtown Columbus, Ohio. The current OSP opened in 1998, and houses about 530 inmates in two sections - The Supermax facility at OSP houses Ohio’s most violent offenders on 23 hour a day lockdown in single man cells that are about 7x9 feet. Outside recreation takes place inside a caged area with a screen roof. Prior to 2012, OSP housed the majority of Ohio’s death row inmates, who now reside at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution, with the exception of the most high security death row inmates, who are housed in the supermax at OSP.
The more populated maximum security unit houses an inmate population with the highest percentage of documented gang members in the Ohio prison system, at a rate of 2 out of 3. All visitation at OSP is no-contact (through glass) and phone calls are heavily monitored. Meals are delivered through cell doors instead of being served in a cafeteria. Inmates who are allowed movement out of their cells for recreation, education or work programs are not allowed to congregate or speak to each other while passing through gates.
On February 7th, 2017, three corrections officers were terminated and a fourth was put on “last chance agreement” at Ohio state penitentiary following allegations of abuse of force. The incident in question actually took place on November 21st, 2016. The investigation is ongoing.