About Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
The Ohio Department of Corrections oversees the United States' sixth most extensive prison system. It has 27 prisons and three juvenile centers. The ODRC was established in 1963 for only purposes of overseeing those in prison. However, it assumed oversight for community-based corrections from the Ohio Department of Youth Services in 1999.
Currently, the department serves over 50,000 incarcerated men and women in institutions throughout the state. Additionally, the agency is responsible for overseeing over $1 billion in capital infrastructure across its institutions. This includes funds spent on new construction in the last decade. DRC is also entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing individuals on parole.
Further, Annette Chambers-Smith is the current head of the department following her appointment in 2019 by Governor Mike DeWine. She is the first African-American woman to serve as Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.
The ODRC has its headquarters in Columbus. Individuals can learn more about the department's facilities by following this link.
Inmate Job Assignments
The Unit Classification Committee is responsible for assigning jobs to inmates. The Committee assigns jobs based on the compatibility of the offender's monitoring and security requirements. For instance, the Committee cannot place an offender who is a convict of a drug-related crime in the infirmary.
Almost all new inmates who arrive at a correctional facility under ODRC are assigned to an entry-level role. The entry-level includes tasks such as food service, laundry, and working as a porter. The ODRC requires that new inmates must remain in the entry-level job category for three months for familiarization with the institutions' operations.
General Inmate Population Jobs
The rest of the inmates work in factories on prison grounds that manufacture various items, including license plates. They may also get to work in service jobs, such as working at the prison hospital and mowing lawns. However, private companies do not employ Ohio inmates. Prisoners also make air conditioner filters, hospital linen, and gloves for protecting law enforcement officers at crime scenes.
Inmate Access to Medical care
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections has medical personnel on call 24 hours a day throughout the week. Inmates who require access to emergency medical care must tell any accessible staff member. He/she will then alert medical personnel.
It is the duty of the Medical Director or an Advance Level Provider to evaluate for the necessary type of medical assistance. Additionally, the facility offers emergency medical services at no cost. The medical professionals will also assess if an incident is an emergency or not.
ODRC facilities offer optometry services. An offender must complete a Health Service Request form and go through the sick call procedure to get a referral for an eye examination. An inmate's eyesight must be poorer than 20/50 to qualify for a review by an optometrist. In such a case, the nurse will schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
Convicts are entitled to an eye checkup and spectacles once every four (4) years. The only exception is where there has been an alteration in an inmate's eyesight. The cost for replacing lost or broken glasses is on the offender to bear. However, the Institutional Inspector may find that the loss or damage resulted from the institution's negligence. Here, the institution will bear the replacement cost.
The ODRC oversees the supervision of more than 100,000 individuals on probation and parole in their community. The department's goal is to provide opportunities for inmates to reintegrate into the community while maintaining public safety. DRC also operates several specialized residential facilities that provide comprehensive treatment services for intensively supervised offenders. These facilities are available throughout the state.
The department requires Community-based correctional officers to monitor individuals on parole or probation. This supervision can either be directly or through electronic monitoring devices. Other responsibilities include assuring that offenders have the appropriate supervision level and participate in any mandated treatment programs.
Furthermore, it is important to note that all correctional officer positions require at least a high school diploma or GED. However, many officers go on to receive an Associate of Applied Science degree from one of Ohio's community colleges or technical schools. In fact, DRC offers several online courses that lead to careers in corrections.
The Parole Board
The Parole Board employs three personnel levels to carry out its responsibilities. The Parole Board's most well-known responsibility is the monthly release consideration hearings. Its Members undertake this task. Additionally, the board members use videoconference technology to conduct these monthly sessions. Hearing Officers for the Parole Board execute Post Release Control (PRC) Assessments and conduct field violation investigations. These are necessary against parolees who violate one or more of the release terms.
Furthermore, the department allocates to each facility a team of Parole Board Parole Officers who help with various parole board responsibilities. Such tasks include hearing preparation and transitional control checks. They also help offenders awaiting release to supervision in assessing programming requirements. Moreover, these officers answer questions regarding the supervision activities.
Release Consideration Hearings
Sometimes, offenders may be serving indeterminate sentences whose parole is up to the parole board's discretion. Such individuals will receive a hearing schedule upon attainment of the statutory eligibility requirements.
Individuals must understand that release on parole before completion of a sentence is not automatic. It is the Parole Board that has complete authority over whether or not to grant parole.
A parole board officer or staff member usually advises new inmates of their legal requirements for eligibility hearing and eligibility date. This happens within 90 days after their admission or re-admission to an institution under ODRC.
Further, the Parole Officer in each correctional facility notifies the inmates via mail of any upcoming hearings. This is necessary for appropriate preparation. The Board also considers an inmate's overall institutional behavior, including program participation, when determining release suitability.
An offender's family or representatives usually meet with a Parole Board Member or other Parole Board staff members on a set day each month. The meet-up is necessary for the exchange of information and preparation for parole.
Offender's Eligibility for Earned Credit
It is the duty of the Bureau of Sentence Computation (BOSC) to evaluate whether or not a particular offender is eligible to receive credit toward sentence reduction. This requirement is established per ORC section 2967.193 provisions.
Participation in an authorized educational program or prison industries program, per the above section, may result in the award of two days of credit. Additionally, participation in a drug treatment program or a mental health treatment program may also result in the awarding of two days of credit.
Ohio Inmate Records and DOC Inmate Search
Inmate records in Ohio consist of personal and official information on inmates under ODRC. Specific institutions maintain and distribute these data or enable their access via internet tools on law enforcement websites. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections inmate records contain information such as:
- The detainee's full name and aliases.
- Their full physical descriptions and unique identifiers.
- Arrest data.
- Bond conditions.
However, access to comprehensive information on an inmate requires a visit to a specific institution. This is because the online search tool does not provide exclusive access.
Online DOC Offender Locator in Ohio
The ODRC operates a website that enables prisoner lookup for inmates in any of the 27 correctional institutions. The online search provides details such as:
- Arrest records.
- Inmate release dates.
- Offender details, including sentence length.
- Offense type.
Individuals can access these details by visiting the official State Prisoner Lookup website.