For 30 years, David Meyers was employed in the adult and juvenile correctional systems of Ohio, including stints at the Ohio State Reformatory and Ohio Penitentiary. He was also closely involved with the Fairfield School for Boys. For this book, he was assisted by his daughter, Elise, a freelance writer and photographer who has grown up around correctional institutions. Many of the images in Central Ohio's Historic Prisons are from the Grandview Heights Public Library's Columbus Citizen/Citizen-Journal Collection. David is also the coauthor of Columbus: The Musical Crossroads.
Central Ohio's Historic Prisonsby David Meyers
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With the opening of the Ohio State Reformatory in 1896, the state legislature had put in place "the most complete prison system, in theory, which exists in the United States." The reformatory joined the Ohio Penitentiary and the Boys Industrial School, also central-Ohio institutions, to form the first instance of "graded prisons; with the reform farm on one side of the new prison, for juvenile offenders, and the penitentiary on the other, for all the more hardened and incorrigible class." However, even as the concept was being replicated throughout the country, the staffs of the institutions were faced with the day-to-day struggle of actually making the system work.
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I received this book as a gift, and I really enjoyed it. It was very informative and interesting to read about the various prisons in Ohio. Being an employee of the Ohio Department of Corrections, it was neat to see how the prison system was during that time frame. The photos were excellent. The historical information was very interesting as well. I believe the authors did a good job in their descriptions and opinions of how the prison system was managed. I enjoyed the stories the author wrote of each of the prisons that were featured. This book will be a nice keepsake for me!