Learn about other literary works by author Gary Williams.
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Updated: May 16, 2011
Siege in Lucasville
The 11-day prison riot in Lucasville, OH, from April 11-April 21, 1993, was the longest and third deadliest prison riot in American history. Nine inmates and one prison guard were killed during the standoff. Nearly $40 million worth of damage was done to the prison. As told to Gary Williams, Siege in Lucasville is the gripping story of Larry Dotson, a prison guard held hostage during the riot at the Southern Ohio Correctional Institution in Lucasville. With a meticulous day-by-day account of the standoff, Siege offers a first-hand account of the torture and terror that Dotson experienced in the midst of rival prison gangs struggling to negotiate with authorities and co-exist with each other. Dotson's beatings resulted in two weeks of hospitalization, months of physical therapy, and years of emotional healing. Like several of his fellow hostages, Dotson has continued to bear the effects of Lucasville, as he has endured 17 post-riot trials, two strokes, and a layoff. Siege also features a special section with post-riot investigation reports and a critical analysis, conducted by Williams, of the administrative failure of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. While legislative changes were implemented in the aftermath of the Lucasville riot, the Ohio prison system has sunk back to pre-Lucasville conditions. On December 6, 2005, at the same Lucasville prison, correction officer Marda Abrams was beaten with her own side-handled baton so severely that she has not returned to work. This incident capped off a year where assaults against prison staff increased 162% at Lucasville. To all those who advocate budget cutbacks, staff reductions, and a moderation of security for the Ohio prison system, Siege is a haunting reminder that those legislators and administrators who are accountable are never required to pay the real consequences for their decisions.
Siege in Lucasville