News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.


Northeast Ohio Medical University

Hospice of the Western Reserve

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Courts and Crime

Ohio preps prisoners for release, dramatically cutting recidivism
Ohio's already low rate drops even further

Andy Chow
Courtesy of Andrew Bardwell
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The rate at which ex-convicts go back to prison has reached an all-time low in Ohio, and officials say the reasons range from community support, to in-prison preparation, to Medicaid. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow has more.

CHOW: Fewer ex-cons return to prison

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (1:07)

CHOW: Fewer ex-cons return to prison, extended story

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:50)

(Click image for larger view.)

Recidivism is the rate at which a former inmates return to prison within three years of being released. Ohio’s rate continues to drop. Last year it was at 28.7 percent; now it’s at 27.1 percent. That’s a four point dip from three years ago and well below the national rate of 44 percent.

Gary Mohr is director of the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. He says it’s important to the department that fewer people become victims of the men and women that the state has already served through the prison system. On top of that, Mohr adds, a lower rate means more families are staying reunited.

Mohr says there are many reasons for the reduced rate, including re-entry programs within Ohio’s communities. Another strong influence, according to Mohr, is the prison system’s reintegration units. This program, which serves about 3,000 people, creates a community of inmates expected to go about their daily activities just as if they were living outside the prison walls.

“It’s a whole different environment, and we want to inspire hope in all of the inmates that they can work their way into these reintegration units before they’re released. It causes them to act and to work and to have a schedule just like they expect when they’re released.”

Mike Brickner, spokesman for the ACLU of Ohio, agrees that the state’s programs have played a big role in helping inmates once they’re released. However, Brickner says the ACLU would like to see even more inmates enrolled in the program.

 “Offering even more expansive programming options -- educational programs, vocational programs --would hopefully shrink that waiting list and ensure that everyone is able to get access to those types of programs that are so successful.”

Along with these initiatives, Director Mohr says, in his 40 years of experience, Medicaid expansion may make the biggest difference for ex-cons..

“It basically means that — when offenders leave our prisons — we are going to assign those eligible members up for Medicaid expansion and a majority of them will be eligible.”

Both Mohr and Brickner say the expansion of Medicaid should especially help with those suffering from mental health or substance abuse issues.

 “That will really help to stem this cycle of incarceration that we often see a person who has a mental illness commits a crime, they’re incarcerated, they’re treated while they’re in prison, they come out they don’t receive treatment and they commit a new crime.”

Brickner adds that the ACLU would like to see other changes, including making it harder for landlords to refuse housing to former inmates.


Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Kasich campaign evokes dark images of a Trump presidency

Backers of legalizing marijuana in Ohio promise to be back in 2016
We should be aloud to grow more than 4 plants and not have to register with the state considering it will be a free market.

Akron says it's had no second thoughts about welcoming refugees
What business does Councilman Neal own on North Hill? I'd love to support him. I am so glad to have the refugees in our neighborhood. I have lived here for 25 ...

Scarborough says the University of Akron is trying to rebuild relationships
In order for the University of Akron to grow and become a desirable place for students across Ohio and elsewhere, it must address the crime problem in the Akron...

Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite wants to end pay-to-play sports fees at Ohio's schools
You can bet Hite and Husted will also rush to the rescue of the Academic Challenge team, the speech-and-debate squad, the Science Olympians and the chess club. ...

Ohio lawmakers consider new gun bills
States that have gun restrictions/cities have reduced gun violence is false. CHICAGO has some of the toughest gun laaws/restrictions but yet fun violence is off...

Cleveland's public transit system considers fare increase for 2016
I work with individuals with disabilities. Yes some of my folks need more help than the average person. As a whole, the group I work with however can manuver ju...

Community group sues to re-open part of Wadsworth hospital
My father was part of the founding group of citizens which started the "new" Wadsworth/Rittman Hospital. For some reason the leadership for the future of the ho...

The Cleveland Museum of Art presents painters who loved their gardens
brilliant masterpiece, Greetings from

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University