Deadly stolen cruiser crash prompts DeWine to order review of post-release control policies


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Governor Mike DeWine announced Monday he is ordering an in-depth investigation into the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s (ODRC) policies in reference to post-release control supervision by the Ohio Adult Parole Authority (APA).

He signed an executive order creating the Governor’s Working Group on Post-Release Control to recommend improvements to the APA’s practices.

In a release, officials say this move was motivated by the APA’s supervision of Raymond Walters, a Dayton man facing charges for allegedly stabbing his father and stealing a police cruiser, which he then crashed into another car, killing two 6-year-old girls and injuring others.

Raymond Walters

READ MORE: Officials identify 2 kids killed after crash involving stolen police cruiser

“The sole person responsible for this tragedy is the person who allegedly caused the crash,” said Governor DeWine. “Although the internal review found that the APA officer followed policy in the supervision of Raymond Walters, I have the responsibility to question whether or not the current policies are the right policies, and I’m confident that members of my new working group will make actionable recommendations to improve the post-release control process.”

The new group has been asked to look into APA’s post-release control policies, including policies related to the documentation of interactions with individuals on post-release control; the amount of time APA officers have to sanction an offender after a violation; the amount of discretion APA officers have to react to violence or concerns about mental health and substance abuse; and sanctions for failing to appear for a drug test.

“I have serious concerns that some post-release control policies aren’t strong enough to adequately monitor offender reentry and also protect the public,” said Governor DeWine. “It’s time that Ohio takes a good look at improving the post-release control process to help offenders positively transition back into society and to swiftly hold them accountable if they commit a violation of their supervision.”

Members of the working group include:

  • Annette Chambers-Smith, ODRC director, co-chair
  • Dr. Reginald Wilkenson, former ODRC director, co-chair
  • Stuart Hudson, ODRC assistant director and former parole officer
  • Dr. Edward Latessa, University of Cincinnati School of Criminal Justice
  • Senator John Eklund (R-Munson Township)
  • Prosecutor Kevin Talebi, Champaign County
  • Elizabeth Poprocki, Ohio Victim Witness Association
  • Molly Gauntner, Ohio Chief Probation Officer’s Association
  • Sara Andrews, Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission

The APA is responsible for post-control supervision of over 20,500 adult felony inmates who are back in society after serving their full prison sentences.

ODRC’s internal investigation into the post-release control supervision of Raymond Walters can be found by clicking here.

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