From The Blade

Allowing prisoners convicted for their role in Ohio’s deadly 1993 prison riot to conduct face-to-face media interviews could give them too much “notoriety and influence” among fellow prisoners and cause problems throughout the correctional system, the state argues in a new court filing.

The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction calls a lawsuit seeking such interviews frivolous and wants a federal judge to throw it out.

The interviews are banned because of the state’s concern “regarding safety and security and the fear that these prisoners would thereby gain a disproportionate degree of notoriety and influence among their fellow inmates,” according to documents the state filed Monday in a Columbus court.

That influence could lead “to substantial disciplinary problems that could engulf large portions of the prisons,” the filing said.

The Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union sued the state in December, arguing the prison system’s policy is inconsistent, especially when the backgrounds of other high-security prisoners granted access to reporters is reviewed.

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