DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – On Monday in Dayton, Governor Mike DeWine announced sweeping changes to the way some former prison inmates are monitored once they are released.
Governor DeWine says too many offenders are getting out of prison even if they’re still a threat to the public. His working group has made 11 recommendations to tighten those post-release controls in order to cut down on repeat offenses.
The governor says, “It is the commitment of this administration, and of the department, that this will become the Bible.” The nine-member working group tasked with improving post-release control procedures delivered its initial report Monday.
Governor DeWine says, “If it can stop one robbery from turning into another robbery and then into a murder, it’s all worth it.”
When adult offenders are released from prison under the supervision of the state, the adult parole authority -or APA- makes sure they don’t commit other crimes. But case load management is a major problem. Currently there are 6,000 corrections officers to work with the 49,000 people in state prisons, a ratio of 8:1. But there are fewer than 500 parole officers to monitor the 34,000 people on supervision, a ratio of 68:1.
Governor DeWine says, “These caseloads are simply much, much too high, and frankly they are dangerous to the public.”
WATCH Governor DeWine cites the deaths of two Dayton girls as the reason for making the changes:
Another concern is GPS monitoring, as violations committed at night or over the weekend aren’t addressed until the next business day. Governor DeWine says, “We must ensure that our post-release control system instantly reacts when an offender violates the terms of their electronic monitor.”
Funding could be a challenge, but DeWine says he’s committed to making the changes no matter what. “How long it will take and what it will cost, frankly we don’t know yet. We may need to work to secure funding this in the next biennium budget. But we’re going to start studying it now.”