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Courts and Crime


Ohio prison gang numbers decline
Nearly 20 percent are members, but few are actively engaged in gang activities.
by WKSU's MARK URYCKI


Reporter
Mark Urycki
 
In The Region:
While Texas officials investigate two murders that may be related to gang members in prison, a new report says 20 percent of Ohio prisoners belong to gangs.  WKSU’s Mark Urycki reports.
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A report by the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee says more than 8,000 Ohio inmates are in gangs. They often group according to race with black gangs like the Crips and Bloods and white gangs like the Aryan Brotherhood.

The report says the largest percentage is at the Youngstown State Penitentiary where 55 percent are said to be gang members.

But statewide the number is down from a year ago.

Vinko Kucinic, director of anti-gang efforts for the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, says the number has dropped by about 1,000 members since the agency began efforts last May to reduce violence behind bars. He also says the majority are considered passive members, those who are not involved in gang activities. Prisoners can lose privileges if they are known to participate in gang activities. 

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