Sunday, September 14, 2003

Warden demoted; 'judgment' cited

The Associated Press

MANSFIELD - The Richland Correctional Institution warden has been demoted, partly because he required some inmates to watch a religious broadcast.

Norman Rose, 53, was made a deputy warden on Friday and transferred to the Northeast Pre-Release Center in Cleveland by state prisons chief Reginald Wilkinson.

Richard Hall, deputy warden of operations at the Richland prison, will be acting warden.

Terry Collins, deputy director of institutions for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, cited four reasons for the demotion, including an overall "lack of trust and confidence in his decisions and judgment."

Collins said Rose forced about a dozen inmates to watch a Promise Keepers religious rally broadcast from the Marion Correctional Institution on Aug. 12. The inmates were being disciplined for committing drug violations in prison.

The event was telecast to Ohio prisons via the Internet.

Rose said on Saturday that he thought the program was about family values, not religion.

"I would never force anyone to watch a religious program," he said.

Collins also cited problems with homemade wine being made at the prison along with making inappropriate comments to staff. Prisons spokeswoman Andrea Dean said Rose told an employee to ignore department policies in handling infractions.

Rose said homemade wine is a common problem throughout the prison system and that he and the staff worked to reduce its availability.

He said the inappropriate comment stems from telling the chairman on the state's prison board that female officers should be believed over male inmates when the inmates commit sexual acts.

He began as warden at the prison in July 2001. The minimum- and medium-security prison houses 2,298 prisoners.

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