Ohio Lawmakers Debate the Future of the State Prisons Watchdog

Mar 21, 2017

Joanna Saul, former executive director of the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee.
Credit ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A bipartisan committee created to be the top state prisons watchdog is coming under fire, as lawmakers from different parties have different ideas on what should be its fate.

 

The Correctional Institution Inspection Committee conducts reviews of the state’s prisons and juvenile correctional facilities, and its director agreed to resign last year after a series of critical reports.

Republican Rep. Keith Faber of Celina wants to shift control of the committee to the state Inspector General’s office, which reports to the governor.

But Democratic Rep. Greta Johnson of Akron says the state puts a lot of money into the prison system.

“For folks who loathe to pay taxes and loathe to invest, it seems to me that transparency on this particular investment would be of the utmost importance.” Johnson says moving the committee in to the IG’s office would cause it to lose accountability.