DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine held a news conference Monday where he detailed recommendations and actions he has taken in the supervision of former inmates in the state.
DeWine pointed to a case in Dayton where two 6-year-olds were killed after a man stabbed his father, stole his father’s car and crashed it, then stole a police car and crashed into a van near the Dayton Metro Library in downtown Dayton. That man, Raymond Walters, was on post-release control after being released from prison.
“When offenders are released from prison under supervision of the state the number one obligation must be to ensure that we keep our citizens safe,” said DeWine. He continued, “although an investigation into Raymond Walter found his parole offices did follow APA procedures and policies, I had concerns that those policies were simply not strong enough.” DeWine said although some changes have been made in recent years a comprehensive review of policies and procedures had not been done. DeWine orders such a review of Ohio’s Adult Parole Authority’s (APA) supervision policies in October 2019.
The Governor announced the results of the review and the actions he is ordering in response to the group’s work. DeWine held up a copy of the report at his news conference and said, “It is the commitment of this administration and of the department that this report will become the bible and that they will follow this and do everything they can to implement this.”
The group made 11 recommendations in the initial report including:
- The APA will begin working to reduce parole officers’ caseloads to 50:1 for general caseloads and 40:1 for specialized caseloads to allow parole officers to provide more thorough supervision. The current average caseload size is 76:1
- The use of specialized caseloads will be expanded to place specific offenders, such as sex offenders and those suffering from mental illness, with parole officers who are experienced in supervising these populations
- The APA will develop a case-assignment process that balances the number of offenders supervised by each parole officer with each offender’s risk level and the duties associated with each level
- The Ohio Department of Public Safety will partner with the APA to more effectively respond to GPS-monitoring violations at night and on the weekends
- The APA will require inclusion and exclusion zones for all offenders on GPS monitoring to clearly define specific areas where these offenders, including those who are homeless, are permitted or prohibited from being located
- Ohio’s highest-risk offenders will be subject to longer periods of monitoring, and these offenders will be supervised by the most experienced parole officers
- A sentinel events review process will be developed to regularly and thoroughly examine incidents of recidivism among offenders on post-release control
- The APA will revise its policies to put more focus on behavioral-change strategies that help offenders make positive choices
One of those recommendation was to reduce the caseload of supervisors to 50, 40 for specialized caseloads such as sex offenders or inmates suffering from mental illness.
Another issue is the use of GPS monitors and violations that occur after-hours. The governor said if an offender violates the terms of monitoring the APA doesn’t address the issue until the next business day. DeWine said he has ordered the ADA to adopt a workload-based system of assigning cases and placing the most experienced officers on the highest risk cases.
Read the full report here:
2 NEWS is working to learn more about the report and recommendations that were released Monday. Stay with WDTN.com for more in this developing story.