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April 12, 2012 10:39 AM

Johnson Family Visits A Changed Penitentiary

sioux falls, sd

A celebration of Correctional Officer Ron "RJ" Johnson's life and dedication of a training facility is bringing family, friends and his former colleagues together at the State Penitentiary Thursday. 

It's the facility where Johnson worked and died at the hands of two inmates, which is something officials hope to keep from happening again.

Just weeks following the incident, State Correctional officials suggested and implemented 12 changes to various areas of the Penitentiary to improve safety for everyone behind the walls.

Those changes included re-routing all foot traffic into the prison through the main control room.  In addition to being able to monitor those coming and going, they installed more than 100 additional cameras to keep a better eye on things. Lighting was improved to give at least a low-level of light at all times to reduce dark areas. 

Officials also evaluated staffing and decided to increase the number of correctional officers monitoring various buildings and areas to increase the security.  A review of inmate access and traffic also led to tightening restrictions on whether inmates can enter certain buildings, especially the Prison Industries building.

More employees are also now required to carry radios and wear body alarms.

You can read more about all of the changes in the Department of Correction's After-Incident Report.  The list begins on page 16.

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