Ohio prisons

photo of Gary Daniels
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Once again, the ACLU of Ohio is pushing for criminal justice reform with a new report on what it calls the “Statehouse to prison pipeline."

The ACLU’s Gary Daniels said the report shows too many Ohioans are being locked up.

“Our prison system is about 11,000 to 12,000 people above capacity right now," he said.

Daniels said lawmakers have loosened penalties to divert some low-level offenders from lockups but are still passing new tough-on-crime legislation.

prison guard tower
GINO REYES / U.S.A.F.

An office that inspects and reports on conditions, trends and violence in Ohio’s 27 adult prisons and three juvenile facilities is down to one staff member, and its work is being done largely by college interns. The office’s former director says she’s worried that trouble, which should have been foreseen, is on the horizon.

photo of CAK departure drop-off
Akron-Canton Airport

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, August 29:

Cleveland skyline
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, June 11:

photo of John Kasich
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, November 10th:

photo of Joanna Saul
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.

photo of Stephen JohnsonGrove
ANDY CHOW / OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

Last year, many issues divided Ohio fiercely along party lines. But one topic that brought Republicans and Democrats together was criminal justice reform. Now there’s a push to continue that effort in 2017.

This year, advocates say there’s still strong interest in cutting down the number of people sent to prison and to reform sentencing laws.

Stephen Johnson Grove with the Ohio Justice and Policy Center says one step is to loosen the penalties for minor probation infractions, such missing a meeting or not getting a job in time.

photo of Cleveland jail
SHUTTERSTOCK / HENRYK SADURA

Gov. John Kasich’s office is not confirming or denying reports that the state’s youth and adult prison systems might merge. 

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that the next state budget might include a merger of the Ohio Department of Youth Services and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Picture of the Northeast Ohio Re-Entry Business Summit
KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU

Government, businesses and social service agencies gathered in Cleveland today to discuss ways to help people leaving prison find work. The Northeast Ohio Re-entry Business Summit is aimed at trying to reduce Cuyahoga County’s recidivism rate.            

Each year about 4,000 people return to Cuyahoga County from prison. Finding a job is a big part of keeping them from going back behind bars.

MICHAEL COGHLAN / FLICKR CC

While the election may be driving a divide between and even inside political parties, conservatives and liberals in Ohio continue to work on one issue together. As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, one group has released a comprehensive report to try and tackle criminal justice reform.

More than 50,000 people are in Ohio prisons. That’s down from an all-time high of more than 51,000 in 2008. But leaders from all over the political spectrum believe something needs to be done to cut down further on the prison population.

photo of Terry Collins
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

A former head of the Ohio prisons department who became an advocate against the death penalty died suddenly this week.

Sixty-three-year old Terry Collins worked for the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction for more than 30 years and was its director under Gov. Ted Strickland. As warden at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Collins had witnessed dozens of executions. But after retiring in early 2010, Collins spoke out for an end to capital punishment in Ohio, as he did in an interview in October.