Inmate rights group plans conference, rally

YOUNGSTOWN — The Cleveland Lucasville Five Defense Committee will hold a press conference and rally in Youngstown as part of a campaign to win Ohio’s death row inmates the right to have physical contact with loved ones.

The committee takes its name from five prisoners who ended up on death row after one of the worst prison riots in Ohio history in 1993 at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville.

The press conference is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at St. Augustine Episcopal Church, 614 Parmelee Ave., and will be followed by a rally at 2 p.m. at the entrance to the Ohio State Penitentiary, 878 Coitsville-Hubbard Road. OSP houses more than 140 of Ohio’s death-sentenced prisoners.

A coalition of prisoner-advocacy organizations, Youngstown Prisoners Forum Group, Loved Ones Of Prisoners and Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants, are co-sponsors.

The events are being held in conjunction with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observances.