The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DR&C) has requested massive budgetary increases topping one billion dollars a year while all over Ohio large numbers of schools are closing their doors. Citing a population of over 46,000 prisoners and increasing over crowding, much of this money is earmarked for new prison construction. With the FBI's Uniform Crime Statistics showing that crime, particularly violent crime, is dropping in the United States, why, then, does Ohio have such a huge problem? Is it because Ohio has an unusually high number of criminals in it's population? Or could this constant, seemingly insurmountable problem of ballooning prison populations and ever-present crime stem from some other even more disturbing cause?

In an Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction news release dated January 31, 1997, Mr. Reginald A. Wilkinson, the department's Director, stated:

"We'e been good stewards of the taxpayer's dollars. We haven't sat idly by as our prison and parole populations have went through the roof. We've testified to the legislature about the impact of each and every proposed sentencing law. We've pushed hard for community-based punishments, and we've got them. The rate of people coming into prison is actually declining. Balancing that is the fact that violent and repeat offenders are staying in longer as they should."

Included in this release are some interesting Department of Rehabilitation facts which proves very revealing: "Ohio's prison system is the nation's fifth largest state prison system with over 46,000 inmates as of January, 1997. The nation's incarceration rate has increased from 293 per 100,000 citizens in 1990 to 419 in 1996. At the same time, Ohio's incarceration rate has increased from 289 per 100,000 citizens in 1990, to 397 in 1996;" (i.e; Please note that Ohio's figures are below the national average.) "Ohio's prison population increased from 31,519 on January 1, 1991 to 45,962 as of January 1997, a 45.9 percent increase." (i.e. Please note these dates and numbers.) "The Department also supervises over 27,000 individuals in the community, an increase of over 7,700 or 49.9 percent increase."

Wilkinson further states: "We would all rather see this money appropriated to schools and other deserving agencies. But the fact is, we have 46,000 prisoners and 27,000 individuals on the street that we absolutely must supervise in an effective and safe manner. Our safety, and yours, depends upon the tools we're given to do our job."

Other facts in this news release included: "Ohio has the lowest average daily cost per inmate per day of $40.70 or $14,855 per year, (January 1, 1996), when compared with states holding the ten highest inmate populations. By using prototype designs and construction methods, the cost of building new prisons in Ohio is among the lowest in the nation at $28,400 per bed. The national average is $51,299," (See Appendix - Item One)

Mr. Wilkinson's statements and ODRC facts paint an interesting picture, which, when compared to operational data pose some interesting questions. First, why has the prison population ballooned between 1991 and 1997 if our incarceration rate is lower than the national average and all of these new community based programs are in place? Secondly, why hasn't the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and the Ohio Adult Parole Authority, the ODRC's subsidiary agency, told the truth to the legislature and to Ohio's citizens concerning the real reasons behind Ohio's burgeoning prison population? Thirdly, why hasn't the ODRC and the Adult Parole Authority told the citizens of Ohio the real reason behind the criminal recidivism rate? Could it be that to do so would cause irate citizens to call for a disbanding of the Adult Parole Authority and a return to sensible, just punishment for Ohio's errant citizens? By examining the fact we can come to an accurate and fair conclusion.

CRIMINAL LAW SENTENCING STATUTES The Adult Parole Authority And Its Guidelines:

A Brief Historical Perspective

On July 1, 1996, Ohio's much touted "Truth in Sentencing Law," known officially as Senate Bill Two, went into effect. Prior to that date Ohio's citizens had been under an Ohio Revised Criminal Code which based it's sentencing structure on what was called ''Indefinite Sentences" or "Tails." This sentencing structure was designed around the concept that an offender could, through good conduct, educational improvement and rehabilitative programs, shorten his or her period of imprisonment and return to society better than when first brought into the system. The inmate's progress was to be monitored and periodically reviewed by the Parole Board and when sufficient progress had been achieved, this inmate would be released back into society.

The current Parole Board system was instituted in 1974 and in 1987 the Board formalized their review criteria and published their set of guidelines. In the pamphlet in which these guidelines are outlined the Adult Parole Authority states, "Although most inmates will be released at some point prior to expiration of their sentence, it shall be the purpose of the Adult Parole Authority's decision-making at all levels of the agency to protect the public, to preserve the rights of individuals including the victims of crime, and to satisfy reasonable people that its decisions are fair, and consistent."

"The guidelines are only a tool to be utilized in enhancing the quality of decisions. An individual case will always be decided by the professional judgment and discretion of the Parole Board. The guidelines may be overridden and should not be viewed as creating an expectation of release in a particular case."

"The goals of the guideline system in order of priority are:

1. To provide for public protection by not releasing those inmates who represent a high risk of repeating violent or other serious crimes.

2. To provide an appropriate continuum of sanctions for crime.

3. To cooperate with correctional management in providing safe, secure and humane conditions in state correctional institutions.

4. To recognize the achievement of those inmates with special identifiable problems relating to their criminal behavior who have participated in institutional programs designed to alleviate their problems.

5. To make the decision-making process of the Adult Parole Authority more open, equitable and understandable to the public and to the inmate."

The Parole Board's guideline explanation also states: "Nationwide, parole boards have been encouraged to spell out their procedures, their duties under the law, and the precautions taken to protect citizens from career criminals and aggressive and violent felons. Beginning in 1987, the Ohio Parole Board has systematized it's decisions through a weighted point system and carefully developed decision guidelines."

The Parole Board guidelines as written and published, if applied with fairness and the intention to return an individual to society better equipped to succeed, are workable. Utilized properly their guidelines would provide the incentive necessary to cause a person to want to improve if for no other reason than to be free. This is assuming, of course, that the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction provided the programs through which this individual's improvement could be achieved.

Indefinite sentences ranged from 1.5 to 5 years for a fourth degree felony, to 5 to 25 years for a first degree felony. At any point after the minimum sentence, minus good time, had been served the Parole Board could release a prisoner. The guidelines, as can be fully reviewed in the Appendix Item Two, set forth reasonable expectations of parole with proper conduct and individual effort.

As the prison populations increased and costs skyrocketed state officials searched for a solution to their prison's overcrowding. In 1990 the Ohio Legislature established a sentencing commission to formulate new laws to reduce prison populations, make Ohio's law and sentencing structures more reflective of actual time served and stop the growing drain on the state's budget. This commission was officially sanctioned on August 22, 1990, and members included knowledgeable individuals such as a judge from the State Supreme Court. Among the first items on the commission's agenda was the conversion from indefinite sentences to determinate sentences commonly referred to as "Flat Time" and the elimination of the Parole Board. Since the new law would be applied to all prisoners there would no longer be a need for the Board and its inherent costs of operation. What resulted was the formulation of a new sentencing structure which was fair, constitutional and retroactive to all Ohio prisoners. Provisions were included for converting the indefinite sentence minimums to "Flat Time" or definite sentences. This commission's recommendations, if implemented into law as written, would have ended Ohio's overcrowding crisis within a year. But now it had to go to the Ohio Legislature for enactment into law.


With the first whispers that the Parole Board would be abolished frantic lobbying and political jockeying took place. The Parole Board's jobs were on the line. They were fighting for their retirement checks. Two things happened which nre note worthy during the opening days of the new Sentencing Commission's life. First, there was a push to install in the law two things which would guarantee the Parole Board's life. The first was the provision for giving "bad time" or "dead time" for institutional rules violations. The institutional Rules Infraction Board could recommend the giving of bad time but, notably, it was only the Parole Board which would have the power to order this sanction against rules violators. This would, for all practical purposes, add time to the man or woman's court appointed sentence.

The second item was "Post Release Supervision." With indefinite sentences the offender, once on parole, could be returned to prison for criminal or other rules violations connected with the conditions of parole. This was intended initially as an incentive to offenders to Veep out of trouble. Through abuses inflicted by power hungry parole officers the "Tech. P.V.'s," as they became known, clogged the system. These men and women had committed no criminal acts. They were guilty, quite often, of only being late for appointments. With the passage of the new law this would stop. Parole would stop. More retirement checks were on the line. Once again, through politicing the Parole Board found itself a job. With the inclusion of "Post Release Supervision" the field officers could now disrupt lives for up to five years and in some cases longer. Under the proposed new law ex-offenders who had completed their prison sentences could be snatched off their jobs and away from their families and locked up in "Community Correctional Centers" for up to ninety days for technical violations with no criminal offense involved. This provision would give the Parole Board the power to throw families into economic ruin repeatedly until the Post Release Supervision period ended.

Through the efforts of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and it's subsidiary, the Adult Parole Authority, the Parole Board and it's field officers were guaranteed jobs under the new statutes if and/or when enacted into law. In order to impress upon the Ohio Legislature the severe need to retain the Board and it's field officers the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and the Adult Parole Authority used numbers. In order to bolster their position, since passage of the "Bad Time" and "Post Release Supervision" provisions were by no means guaranteed, the ODRC and APA stressed the number of men on indefinite sentences. In order to make the figures impressive they made some changes. All in an effort to insure their retirement checks. These changes are reflected in the 1994 Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Annual Report.

The data reflecting the Parole Board's strategy is shown in the Appendix as Item Three. In 1990, the year the new Sentencing Commission started it's work, there were 14,156 parole hearings. From this number there were 6,041 paroles granted. This equates to a 42.7% release rate. As you can see by reviewing Item Three this release percentage suddenly dropped to 33.7% in 1991 and by 1994 was down to 23.9%. The ODRC and the APA announced it was getting tougher on violent and repeat offenders. The data that will be presented will show this to be a lie. What was actually happening was a deliberate effort to load the system with men with Indefinite Sentences. The immediate result of this deliberate reduction in releases was a skyrocketing prison population. In 1990 there were 14,156 people eligible for parole. By 1994 this number had ballooned to 24,429 and climbing fast.

As was noted earlier the APA guidelines booklet states: "The guidelines are only a tool to be utilized in enhancing the quality of decisions. An individual case will always be decided by the professional judgment and discretion of the Parole Board. The guidelines may be overridden and should not be viewed as creating an expectation of release in a particular case." We must note that this passage uses the terms "professional judgment" and "discretion." It should also be noted that it states that the guidelines "should not be viewed as creating an expectation of release in a particular case."

Reasonable minds would then conclude that the members of the Parole Board are professionals who would conduct themselves in a professional luanner. With the introduction of the word "discretion," it could then be assumed that this same Board would view all aspects of a case and could reward as well as punish in a just and impartial manner. In 1990 42.7% of those inmates coming before the Board were rewarded. By 1994 only 23.9% could expect another chance to prove their worth. The last sentence from the guideline passage appears to be prophetic when the Parole Board's jobs are threatened.

In order to identify the exact methods the Parole Board used in it's reduction of paroles we call into play data from the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction's own reports. We also use data provided by CURE Ohio and survey data from one of Ohio's minimum-medium security prisons. The findings demonstrated by this data is and should be very disturbing to all Ohio citizens. The results of the ODRC and APA's actions through the Parole Board have been disastrous! The prison population has skyrocketed artificially thus dramatically increasing the funds required to operate. Virtually all rehabilitative programs have been abolished even though the ODRC still lauds their own efforts to rehabilitate in their own literature. Men and women are crowded together like cattle. This and the lack of viable programs and recreation raises tensions, endangers both inmates and staff and causes an attitude of hostility or hate that will be carried back onto the streets and into society.

As has been evident in the news the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction has called over and over for funds now exceeding ONE BILLION DOLLARS a YEAR! Much of this is to build new prisons to handle the artificially increased population of justifiably hostile people. At the same time schools are closing and the state is helpless to stop it. With the newsmedia induced citizen hysteria over errant citizens the politicians load the ODRC coffers without questioning why there is this sudden blossoming of our prison population. New prisons are not needed and in truth several existing prisons could be closed. The schools would then have those hundreds of millions of dollars to keep their doors open, the teachers working and the students updated with new texts and equipment.

These statements will be backed up with facts. Facts carefully prepared and straight forwardly presented. Everything presented should not only dismay but should also infuriate every taxpaying citizen in Ohio.


In order to properly evaluate the actions of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and the Adult Parole Authority we should first scrutinize the prison intake figures. The first area we will review is the ethnic data. The first question we will seek to answer is this: "Does the ODRC and the APA practice racial discrimination in any form when making it s parole decisions?"

Using the ODRC's own annual report and periodic releases we see that in 1994 there were 19,198 persons incarcerated. Of these, 11,056 were Black males and females. The remaining 8,142 consisted mainly of White males and females. It is assumed that because there is only a black and white breakdown that what Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans who were imprisoned that year were lumped together under the Black grouping. This provides a percentage breakdown of 43.19% Whites and 56.8% Blacks and other groups combined. The ODRC's 1995 commitment figores are larger showing 19,954 persons imprisoned during that year. Additionally the ODRC's 1996 data shows a drop in incarcerations to 19,091 persons. The racial breakdown for that year was 54.3% Black, 43.6% White and 2.0% Hispanic. It can safely be assumed that due to the 2.5% drop in the Black grouping, the advent of a 2.0% Hispanic group and a rise of nearly 0.5% in the White grouping for 1996 that the Asians and Native Americans are now in the White group for ODRC record keeping purposes. Viewing these figures from a practical standpoint and assuming the ODRC's stated average length of imprisonment of 23 R months as accurate then the prison population should be fairly stable. The annual increase in commitments between 1994 and 1995 is only 756 persons. The 1996 figure of 19,091 is 107 persons less than 1994 figures. (See Appendix Item Four)

Note the ethnic percentages between 1994 and 1996 are very close with Blacks making up 56.8% of the intake in 1994 and 54.3% of the intake in 1996. This 2.0% drop may be due to the provision in 1996 for a separate grouping for Hispanics The White grouping had 43.19% of the 1994 intake and 43.6% of the 1996 intake of prisoners in Ohio. the 0.41X increase in Whites in 1996 may be due to the shifting of Asians and Native Americans to this category for record keeping purposes. To Summarize, we find that Ohio imprisons an average of 19,414 persons annually. Of these, approximately 54% are Black and 43% are White.

Currently there are prisoners incarcerated in Ohio prisons serving three distinct types of sentences under two separate sets of laws for the same types of offenses. Two of these types of sentences are known as "Flat Time" or more correctly known as "Definite Sentence." These sentences are imposed by the judge and these prisoners are released when their court imposed sentences expire. There is in this group a standard mix of the prison population as they come before the courts from the general population. No one can interfere with their release once their time is up.

The second type of sentence is known as a "Tail," more correctly referred to as an "Indefinite Sentence." This sentence is also imposed by the judge but has a flexible number of years such as 5 to 25 years. After tho minimum sentence is served then the prisoner goes in front of the Parole Board for possible release. The Parole Board has a fixed set of guidelines that are supposed to be applied to each prisoner's case to insure a fair assessment and determination of that person's fitness for release back into society. According to a survey conducted by CURE Ohio with the help of the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee in February of 1996, 84% of judges anticipated that those they sentence will be released by the Parole Board when the minimum sentence has been served barring antisocial behavior while in prison. (See Appendix Item 5)

So in Ohio we have two separate types of sentences being served by prisoners. Both of the sentences are given to people who come in front of the courts from out of the general population. It could be safely assumed then that what comes in must go out and in approximately the same proportion. In order to test this idea of "In Equals Out" we shall first examine the one group which has no outside interference during the length of their imprisonment. This is the group of prisoners serving Dcfinite Sentences.

Keep in mind this data was accumulated prior to and through the effective date of S.B. 2 and it's resulting all "Definite Sentence" structure.

Due to the lag time from jail to court to the Correctional Reception Center to their final parent institution these prisoners are just now making their presence felt. Their effect upon our Definite Sentence release data is zero. To test this group we chose one medium/minimum security institution in Ohio and accumulated data covering December, 1991, through January, 1997. This data included a total of 2139 males released back into society at the end of their Definite Sentence. From this data we were able to show that if the Definite Sentence group reflects the crime situation in society then the crime rate is indeed dropping. Note the line graph shown below. Although there are wild monthly fluctuations the overall trend is a gentle slope downward. This reflects a reduction in the number of convictions and the resulting drop in releases from this category.

SEE mnreldef.bmp for data:


To investigate this group of 2,139 prisoners further we look at the ethnic breakdown next. If this group reflects the members of the general population which come before the courts then the racial groupings should match, or nearly so, the intake figures presented by the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. Since those who have been forced to serve their maximum sentences are for statistical purposes considered "Max Outs;" they are included in this group. In referring to the Appendix Item Six, you will see that 56.24% of these 2,139 men released were African American and 41.98% were Caucasians. When this is compared to the Intake figures provided by the DR&C for 1994, we see that they are within 0.56% of being the same for African Americans and within 1.21% of being the same for the Caucasian group. These differences can be explained by the more thorough ethnic breakdown depicted in Item Six as compared to the purely Black and White breakdown of the DR&C's figures. This in effect shows with slight deviation due to record keeping.

Next we shall assess data covering the group imprisoned under the Indefinite Sentences. This group of people is the only group open to outside interference upon the length of their incarceration through the actions of the Parole Board. By 1990 the pressure of overcrowding in Ohio prisons was being strongly felt as budgets became larger and larger. In order to attempt to reduce this massive budgetary drain the legislature founded a commission on August 22, 1990 which was to formulate a new criminal code. This code was to, among other things, address the overcrowding in Ohio prisons. Some of the initial proposals, which were later incorporated into the new code, included going only to definite sentences (flat time), making the new sentences retroactive and eliminating the Parole Board. This commission's report was due on July 1st, 1993. Long before the report was available some serious lobbying started to change the commission's new code. The Parole Board was now fighting for it's retirement checks. This effort to save their jobs had started immediately upon the Sentencing Commission's first hints that the Parole Board was to be eliminated. In reviewing the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction's own 1994 report we see that the Parole Board started reducing the number of men released by giving "flops" or continuations of the prisoners minimum sentences; these "flops" ranged from three to ten years. This decline in paroles coincides with the increase in demand for new prisons and guaranteed that the Parole Board would have their jobs for a much longer period. But they had to establish a system which would extend the number of Indefinite Sentences prisoners for as long as possible.

In reviewing Appendix Item Three it is starkly apparent how severely the number of paroles was curtailed. After the release of the Commission's report the legislature started changing things to insure the Parole Board's survival. The retroactive provisions recommended by a Supreme Court Judge were dropped from the new code and "Post Release Supervision" was instituted. This meant that even when the men with Indefinite sentences were finally gorle the Parole Board would have a job. Finally the modified code was passed into law and on July 1, 1996, Senate Bill Two became effective. The new law's lack of retroactivity for those already imprisoned was immediately attacked in the courts but to protect it's future the Parole Board had already instituted a program under the guise of "getting tough on criminals" to prolong the availability of men with Indefinite Sentences.

SEE menmthpr.bmp:


In order to determine exactly how the Parole Board planned to insure it's survival we have to review the release records from our selected medium/minimum security institution. These records should reflect the actions of the Parole Board throughout the state of Ohio since it is unreasonable to think that the Board would have different rules for each prison. The full range of our records cover the period from December, 1991, to January, 1997. In order to break the figures down into usable increments we will divide these figures into calendar years. The total prisoners involved in these statistics are 1,645. As we have already seen in Appendix Item Three parole release rate dropped from 42.72 in l990, to 23.9% in 1994, while the number of men eligible for parole increased by nearly 100%.

Next we will look at the ethnic data to see if, as with the Definite Sentence prisoners, what comes in goes out. Remember that the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction intake figures showed 56.8% Black prisoners and 43.19% White prisoners. Breaking down the figures on the 1,645 men paroled between December, 1991 and January, 1997, we see that the racial breakdown is vastly different between those coming in and those going out on parole. Appendix Item Seven provides the comprehensive racial breakdown. Those listed in the other/unknown catagory refused to complete this portion of the paper work. From the release figures we see that of those paroled 60.97% are Black and 35.26% are White. This means that 4.17% MORE Blacks are paroled from the general prison population than comes into the system. In reviewing the White prisoner figures we see that 7.93% LESS Whites are paroled from the general prison population than comes into the system. Keep in mind that those sentenced under the Indefinite Sentences come before the courts randomly out of the general citizen population just as do the prisoners sentenced under the Definite Sentences. Definite Sentences release ratios match the intake ratios. Indefinite Sentence ratios should also fall within reasonable proximity of the ethnic intake figures but do not by a substantial margin. This can best be shown by a side by side comparison of the ethnic data as depicted below.




AFRICAN-AMER. 1003 60.97%
CAUCASIAN 580 33.26%
HISPANIC 33 2.01%
ASIAN 02 .12%
TOTAL NUMBER 1645 .98%


AFRICAN-AMER. 1203 56.24%
CAUCASIAN 898 41.98%
HISPANIC 18 .85%
ASIAN 00 0.00%

2139 100.00%

It would be reasonable at this point for someone to argue that there would be a disparity in the Indefinite Sentence release figures due to the nature of the crimes for which some of these men were convicted. This could conceivably be true except for two things. One is the law of averages. Even though the prisoners under harsher sentences would possibly serve more time they would eventually be released contributing to the exit ratios for their particular ethnic group. The time span covered by our data would allow for this and we should still see the same basic intake to exit ethnic ratios. We do not. Secondly, is the existence of a provable ethnic quota system which has been established by the Parole Board. Since full data is available only for the years 1992 through 1996 this is the only data utilized. As has been stated earlier, the Parole Board took measures to insure it's existence and provide itself with work while the new codes were being formulated. This is evident by the steady drop in the parole release rate shown in Appendix Item Three. While the number of prisoners eligible for parole steadily increased the percentage of prisoners paroled dropped severely. This resulted in the present dramatic overcrowding of Ohio prisons. But since the Parole Board's main claim to existence is the prisoners under Indefinite Sentences they had to make sure that there would be an adequate supply into the foreseeable future. Since Senate Bill Two is based on Definite Sentences and almost all new prisoners would fall under the Definite terms of imprisonment the men with "Tails" or Indefinite Sentences had to be preserved for as long a period as possible.


1992 1993 1994 1995 1996

JANUARY 20 18 18 24 16 FEBRUARY 18 29 11 18 25 MARCH 18 8 16 13 10 APRIL 23 13 25 12 11 MAY 17 14 17 18 22 JUNE 12 21 10 8 12 JULY 18 12 22 14 12 AUGUST 26 10 13 16 14 SEPTEMBER 22 14 13 14 12 OCTOBER 20 17 11 12 17 NOVEMBER 22 16 12 19 11 DECEMBER 18 15 17 16 23

_______________________________________________________________________ TOTAL 234 187 185 184 185

Note the chart above and you will see that the year before the Sentencing Commission report was due, 1992, our sample institution had 234 Black males released. Keep in mind Appendix Item Three's outlining of the drop in parole rates. It can be safely assumed that this 234 releases was substantially below the number released in 1990 and lower than the number released in 1991. Now note the figures for 1993 through 1996. With only slight deviations which can be attributed to poor record keeping the number of Black men released stays at 185 persons in the presence of ever increasing prison populations. This can not be attributed to chance. It can only be viewed for what it is, a planned release quota to extend the length of time men under Indefinite Sentences is available. It will be noted that the Whites are not shown. This is due to the fact that there is for them there is a flexible quota system that is possibly based on intake rations adjusted quarterly.

As already noted the White release rate is 7.93% below the intake percentages. Accurate intake ratio figures for our test institution were not available but the severe fluctuations noted in the monthly parole releases for Whites indicate that there is a system. Tt appears that in this age of "political correctness" there is a "pool" of White prisoners being formed to balance the various institutions' racial mixes. This could be particularly useful considering under the provisions of Senate Bill Two what comes in the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is stuck with. It will only be through the presence of a "pool" of White Indefinite Sentence prisoners that they will be able to adjust their prison's racial mixes and boast of their percentages as is done now. The statewide intake ratios of 56.8% Black and 43.19% White does not reflect local Conditions. Those incarcerated in the North East, Central and South West portions of Ohio are predominantly Black while those from the rest of the state are predominantly White. The DR&C policy of housing prisoners near their homes will cause institutions to be racially weighted to either Black or White depending upon the location of the institution under the new Definite Sentence Statutes. This can easily be adjusted by drawing from this "pool" of Indefinite Sentence prisoners who are being held well beyond their court-appointed minimums. All Indefinite Sentence prisoners will eventually become pawns that are shuffled to suit the politically correct needs of the DR&C with the help of the Parole Board.

Although some of these statements are based upon conjecture using an overall view of the prison system in Ohio as it now exists and will be affected by Senate Bill Two, numerous facts do exist. As evidenced by appendix Item Four: Excerpts from the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Reports for 1994, 1995, and 1996, there is an average of 19,414 prisoners brought into Ohio's prisons each year. Of these 56.8% are Black and 43.19% are White. Appendix Item Six shows that those with Definite Sentences leave imprisonment in basically the same ratio racially as when they came into the system. Appendix Item Three shows the dramatic reduction in the number of prisoners released on parole since the beginning of the formulation of the new sentencing codes. This percentage dropped from 42.7% to 23.9% in just five years. Tentative 1996 figures based upon our test institution indicate this release rate is still dropping and may be as low as 21.35% for 1996. The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction begs for more money for more prisons while it's subsidiary agency, the Adult Parole Authority, artificially inflates prison populations to protect their jobs' longevity. Appendix Item Seven shows the disparity between the racial intake figures of Appendix Item Four and the racial parole release figures with 4.17% MORE Blacks being released and 7.93% LESS Whites being released than came into the system. The chart on African American men released on parole, shows that there is a fixed quota established for releases by the Parole Board disregarding how many may actually be qualified for release. The White quota is much more difficult to document though the 7.93% FEWER White releases indicates the building of a "White Pool" by the Parole Board for "Politically Correct" purposes disregarding how many may actually be qualified for release.

The foregoing evidence clearly indicates that the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and the Adult Parole Authority has completely discarded it's published purpose and guidelines and is operating in a manner which is cruel and clearly discriminatory in order to protect it's longevity and thusly, it's retirement checks. The deliberate reduction in the number of releases, completely disregarding judicial expectations and the best interest of the citizens, show that their intent is not to be fair or just but to survive at the expense of others. The racial release quotas indicate an agenda that does not include justice or impartiality but is designed to keep the "Politically Correct" program in place regardless of how many lives are ruined. The American Judicial and Criminal Justice System was founded upon three basic principles; Truth, Justice and Equality for ALL citizens. It is evident from the figures and facts that the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and the Adult Parole Authority feel these principles are expendable if they interfere with their plans for retirement.


If you write the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction asking for information, you will receive some pamphlets. In the front of the largest is the Mission Statement and Vision Statement for the ODRC. Their "Mission Statement" is: "The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction protects Ohio citizens by ensuring effective supervision of adult offenders in environments that are safe, humane and appropriately secure; the department seeks to instill in offenders an improved sense of responsibility and the abilitv to become productive citizens." Their "Vision Statement" is:

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction will demonstrate excellence in every facet of our operation to inspire confidence in our ability to collLilluously improve in a system that: meets employee personal growth and professional needs; demonstrates justice and fairness to offenders; responds to the concerns of the citizens of Ohio, and other internal and external stake holders."

On page four of this pamphlet we find the heading: "Crowding and Construction" which states:

Several trends in the areas of crime and punishment will affect the future of corrections in Ohio. One is that prison populations will continue to rise, exacerbating the already serious problem of crowding. The primary reason for this increase is the imposition of longer and "Fixed" sentences andthe drug problem. If one considers that 99% of the offenders in prison will be returned to society, it is important to foster positive conditions within the prisons through efficient management and proper facilities. The state of Ohio has built several new institutions to accommodate the increasing inmate population and help to alleviate the problems caused by crowding. These new institutions are primary factors in our constant evolution toward facilities with tough, secure perimeters enclosing humane, normalized living arens with atmospheres that reduce tension and stress while enhancing the ability of the inmates to grow, through rehabilitative programs and their own efforts toward a crime-free future as productive citizens."

Then the ODRC very smugly lists the new prisons under construction: 2 in Youngstown totaling 950 beds, 1 in Mansfield with 1260 beds, 2 in Toledo with 1175 beds and 1 in Conneaut with 1,000 beds. Next comes the section on "Community Services" which states:

The purpose of community supervision programs such as parole and probation is to provide alternatives to incarceration whereby Communities supervise the offender under local jurisdictions. These programs have the potential of relieving the burdens of cost and crowding in the institutions while helping clients contribute to their own and their family's welfare.... Furloughs are another method used to better prepare the inmates for a life outside. An inmate can obtain valuable work experience by working outside the prison during the day and returning at night. Many times, the job that they have had while incarcerated is given to them upon release, thereby improving their chances of successfully living in society."

In referring back to Appendix Item One we read again Mr. Reginald A. Wilkinson's statement that:

We've been good stewards of the taxpayer's dollars. We haven't sat idly by as our prison and parole populations have went through the roof. We've testified to the legislature about the impact of each and every proposed sentencing law. We've pushed hard for communitybased punishments, and we've got them. The rate of people coming into prison is actually declining. Balancing that is the fact that violent and repeat offenders are staying in longer as they should.

This news release also stated:

Ohio's prison population has increased from 31,519 on January first, 1991, to 45,962 as of January first, 1997, a 45.9 percent increase. The Department also supervises over 27,000 individuals in the community, an increase of over 7,700 or 49.9 percent increase. Since 1991, 36,000 offenders have been sentenced to community-based punishments, saving $313.6 million in prison operating costs.

Wilkinson added that the Department is known for holding the line on spending without jeopardizing security or reducing adequate care and treatment programs. "We would all rather see this money appropriated to schools...Our safety, and yours, depends upon the tools we're given to do our job."

I would also recommend that at this point you read thoroughly the Parole Board Guideline pamphlet paying special note to the following: " shall be the purpose of the Adult Parole Authority's decision making at all levels of the agency to protect the public, to preserve the rights of individuals including the victims of crime, and to satisfy reasonable people that it's decisions are fair and consistent."

Also note the goals of the guideline system:

To provide for public protection by not releasing those inmates who represent a high risk of repeating violent or other serious crimes. To recognize the achievement of those inmates with special identifiable problems relating to their criminal behavior who have participated in institutional programs designed to alleviate their problems. To make the decision-making process of the Adult Parole Authority more open, equitable and understandable bothto the public and to the inmate.

In all these statements issued to the public we see a recurrent theme: "Improved sense of responsibility" -- "ability to become productive citizens" -- " demonstrates justice and fairness" -- "foster positive conditions" -- "atmospheres that reduce tension while enhancing the ability of inmates to grow, through rehabilitative programs and their efforts toward a crime-free future as positive citizens." We also have explanations for the dramatic rise in the prison population and what the ODRC is doing to combat it. Furlough programs where "an inmate can obtain valuable work experience working outside the prison during the day and returning at night." Then there is "Parole and Probation" which according to ODRC do the following: "These programs have the potential of relieving the burdens of cost and crowding in the institution while helping clients contribute to their own and their family's welfare." Mr. Wilkinson then explained why the prison population has ballooned, "The primary reason for this increase is the imposition of longer and 'Fixed' sentences." Of course the Adult Parole Authority is working hard to make sure it's decisions are: "To protect the public, to preserve the rights of individuals, satisfy reasonable people, and are fair and consistent."

In reviewing the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and the Adult Parole Authority's operational procedures so far we have seen a deliberate decline in paroles since the inception of the new Sentencing Commission. We have also established through fact that the Parole Board uses racial quotas in releasing prisoners with Indefinite Sentences. These figures are too consistent to be disregarded as chance. Now we will enter a facet of the Parole Board's activities which can be and will be very disturbing to the citizens of Ohio. It appears that when ever our legislators and the news media don't want to deal with the real issues confronting American society they come up with some crusade which they can wear on their sleeves and wave as flags to draw attention and garner votes. For the past decade the hue and cry has been "Get Tough on Crime!" If all this effort and money had been put into uprooting the causes of immorality and its resulting crime we would be accomplishing something in our society. Without crime our present politicians would have to face the real issues but as it turns out the ODRC and the Adult Parole Authority, in their quest for a guaranteed state pension, are more than willing to help with the "crime problem" but in a way that the citizens of Ohio would never suspect!

Consult with any Criminology expert and you will be told that the best time to stop criminal behavior is before it starts by instilling a sense of responsibility, morals and work ethic in an individual. But if this is not done or because of circumstances a person gets into trouble with the law then corrective action must be taken during that first experience with the criminal justice system. Once a person becomes "institutionalized" or comfortable with prison life, it no longer is a deterrent. It becomes just another cost of doing business. Any period of incarceration beyond three years for the first offender is counter productive. Beyond that society is only inflicting vengence. The resulting institutionalization makes prison "old hat" and nothing to be feared.

With this in mind we will look at the ODRC's current policies toward prisoners in general and first offenders in particular since this group holds the most hope of being "rehabilitated." While the ODRC in it's published releases to the public laud their own rehabilitative efforts they are at the same time destroying within their own prisons any vestige of hope for improvement. Programs of a beneficial nature are being closed or offered only sporadically. Educational programs which could make the thousands of illiterate prisoners functional citizens are a sham used only to draw extra federal dollars. Sex offender programs, which should be mandatory and readily available, are almost non-existent and so limited as to have waiting lists in excess of four years. Although only 5% of sex offenders ever commit the same crime again this could be reduced substantially. Programs dealing with violence are very shallow and often consist of films on serial killers. This does not help the angry man with a "short fuse" learn to reroute his hostility. There are no realistic programs for drug dealers which could realign their motives to productive areas. While Ohio Penal Industries (OPI) does provide jobs these are profitable to the State and employ only about 8% of the prison population. There are no viable training programs. Workers are recruited from the prison population who already have long work related histories. OPI is a business pure and simple.

Under examination we find that money which should be going to schools and to rehabilitative programs is being spent on new prisons. And the only reason for these new prisons is directly due to the actions of the ODRC and the APA. What we have reviewed shows that there has been deliberate reductions in paroles since January 1, 1991, and that the Parole Board uses race as a criteria for parole. This in itself is appalling but who the Parole Board is paroling is even more frightening. Equally disturbing is who they are NOT paroling.

Prisoners have known for years what the "Board" was doing but were helpless to do anything about it. They lacked proof. Inside Ohio's prisons is a limeric which states their case, "Go to the Hole, Make a Parole!" Ironically, this is true. As was stated earlier, the first offender is the one that has the most hope of returning to a normal life, that is if he is given the chance. In studying Parole Board releases of first offenders we found that the Board deliberately refuses paroles to first offenders particularly if they have clean institutional records. Our study also shows that there is a first Offender Quota." By utilizing data from our test institution we were able to document a pattern that, like the 185 blacks per year racial quota, shows a fixed quota from at least 1993 through 1996. Earlier data was not available so this period only is covered. Recording of offense data didn't start until February of 1993, so January's figures are not available but it doesn't take much work to figure it out.

THE NUMBER OF MEN PAROLED WITH JUST ONE CONVICTION 1993 1994 1995 1996 _______________________________________________________________________ JANUARY NODATA 14 11 12 FEBRUARY 17 5 14 12 MARCH 11 7 6 13 APRIL 7 12 9 9 MAY 9 15 9 10 JUNE 16 2 12 6 JULY 10 8 7 12 AUGUST 6 11 11 12 SEPTEMBER 6 12 10 6 OCTOBER 12 8 11 5 NOVEMBER 18 12 10 8 DECEMBER 5 17 12 17 _______________________________________________________________________ 117 123 122 122

Shown above is the month by month listing of first offender releases between 1993 and 1996. This four year span, just like our racial data, shows a very consistent set of figures. 1993's figure is short 5 men. This data is not available to us but it is safe to assume that like 1994, 1995 and 1996, the figures match. Note that the 1994 figure shows 123 men released. This figure is incorrect in that, in that year 123 men were paroled but only 122 were released. The 123rd man was notified four days prior to release thnt his parole was rescinded. He was taken back to the Board and told to "max out." He had no prior record of any kind and was on a nonviolent charge. In 1996 the Board confirmed both their racial and first offender quota. Our test institution averages two furloughs per month. A furlough is release to a half-way house prior to actual parole release. Up until December, 1996, the quota figures were short. In December the Board furloughed fourteen men, ten Black and four White. This completed their 185 Blacks for the year and as you can see also completed their 122 first offender quota. This fourteen man batch of furloughs was seven times the normal furlough rate for our test institution.

From this data two things are glaringly apparent. First, no matter how hard a first offender tries to straighten out his or her life if he or she is not lucky enough to fall within the "quota" then there will be no parole. Education, programs, institutional record, family support, jobs, selfmotivation and honesty mean nothing. Secondly, the Parole Board is manufacturing criminals by forcing first offenders to remain imprisoned until famiLy, jobs and hope have slipped away. When someone has lost all reason to try then they stop trying. The result is institutionalization and recidivism. First offenders at our test institution routinely receive five to ten year "flops."

Our second area of data can be very unsettling particularly in light of the ODRC and APA's stated policies. This is also the final link in the chain of evidence proving the deliberate inflation of prison populations through unscrupulous means. What it also shows is the premeditated release upon society of known career offenders with the intent on the part of the APA that they do commit further criminal acts in order to return them quickly back into the numbers game. "Ridiculous!" someone will say. Turn to Appendix Item Eight from our test institution. As with the other data collected it is unreasonable to assume that only one institution would be subject to special guidelines and quotas for parole purposes. This data then must reflect the APA parole policy statewide. When viewing Item Eight you will notice at the bottom a legend showing the various markings used to denote the number of convictions each man had who was paroled. This chart covers all paroles from our test institution from February 1993 to January 1997. Note that the first offenders are quite often the smallest group released though they have the greatest chance for success. Notably the men with two convictions usually forms the largest group paroled. These men quite often have to "get their noses bloodied" twice before they wake up. This group still has a better than average chance of succeeding in society and could be considered a good parole risk. Now we look at the groups which could be justifiably called "career criminals." These men have been through the system enough to know its ins and outs and choose to continue their illegal activities. According to both the ODRC and APA published statements these men are not being paroled!

In reviewing the chart you will note that this data covers men with anywhere from one to 6 or more convictions. It could be safe to assume that these men with three, four, five and higher numbers are for whatever reason continuing in a life of criminal activity. It is not the purpose of this analysis to go into tile reasons for "career criminal behavior" but we will note several interesting facts. Thoroughly review Appendix Item Nine and Ten. The ODRC, in the December, 1996 release, shows there were 19,954 new admissions for the year 1995. The February 1997 release shows 19,091 new admissions in 1996. This is an eight hundred and sixty three person drop in one year. The prison population should be going down and yet it's not. And here's the final piece of the puzzle as to why it's not dropping. In l996, 19,064 persons were released from prison. This was twenty seven persons fewer than came in. But note under this 19,064 figure in Item Nine or Ten and you will see parole violations returned 1996 and probation violations returned. This group consists of people put on the streets by the APA and the sentencing courts. According to the APA's 1996 census report there are 10,372 persons on probation. Of these only 927 violated and were placed into prison. This amounts to 8.9%. In comparison Item Nine shows 7,647 paroles for 1996 with 1,594 parole violations returned. This 1,594 men amounts to 20.8% of those released and is probably about equal to those released with three or more convictions. Add the 1,594 men that were P.V. and the 927 that were probation violators and you have enough men to fill a new prison: 2,521. You may even have enough to fill two of the smaller prisons.

It's an interesting and unsettling scenario. People who are supposed to be public servants, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and the Adult Parole Authority, deprive people of their freedom solely for the purpose of extending their employment. These public servants use racial quotas and first offender quotas to keep the savable in prison while releasing career criminals they know will commit more crimes. They are in effect creating their own crime wave and conducting their own criminal training schools. Had the ODRC and APA conducted themselves as professionals, recognizing the importance of the jobs they hold, the State and its citizens would not be facing the present financial crisis.

Had the Parole Board used their guidelines as written the prison population would not have ballooned. There would be no need to spend hundreds of millions of precious taxpayer dollars on useless prisons. Actually there could have been two to four of the States old prisons closed. Our school children and teachers would not be facing the coming century with inferior texts and closing schools. Our citizens who have made mistakes and for the first time in their lives have gone to prison would be looking forward to or would be rebuilding their lives. Our "career" criminals would be undergoing true rehabilitative programs instituted by the ODRC which would save the taxpayers money in crime-related costs. Racism, quotas, and injustices on a massive scale have no place in Ohio's criminal justice system. The results of these actions have caused untold misery and suffering to both those who are incarcerated, their families and the innocent taxpaying citizens of Ohio. It is time the citizens of Ohio demanded a return to justice, reason and financial responsibility on the part of the ODRC and the APA. Give this wasted money to our children's schools.


ITEM #1: O.D.R. & C. Nears Release in Orient Wire, February 21, 1997. I TEM #2: Adult Parole Authority Published Parole Board Guidelines.

ITEM #3: O.D.R. & C. Annual Report for 1994 Parole Hearings Data.

ITEM #4: Excerpts from reports for years 1994, 1995 and 1996.

ITEM #5: Cure Ohio Newsletter for April, 1996 containing Judge Survey. I TEM #6: Racial Breakdown for End of Definite Sentence Releases.

ITEM #7: Racial Breakdown for Parole, Shock Parole and Furlough Releases.

ITEM #8: Total Men Paroled 2-93 to 1-97, Comparison by Number of Convictions

ITEM #9: O.D.R. & C. Monthly Release December, 1996.

ITEM #10: O.D.R. & C. Monthly Release February, 1997.


Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Annual Report For 1994. Adult Parole Authority Hearings Data

1990 1991 1992 1993 1994

Hearings: 14,156 18,341 21,010 23,521 24,429

Releases Granted: 6,041 6,182 7,248 6,100 5,847

Release Rate: 42.7% 33.7% 34.5% 25.9% 23.9%


Excerpts From Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Reports From the Years of 1994, 1995 and 1996.


Commitments, Total: 19,198

Blacks, Male and Female: 11,056 = 56.8% Whites, Male and Female: 8,142 = 43.19%


Commitments, Total: 19,954


Commitments, Total 19,091 From Report Released 12-96

Blacks, Male and Female 54.3% Whites, Male and Female 43.6% Hispanics, Male and Female 2.0%


Released at End of Definite Sentence or for Maximum Expiration of Sentence.

GROUP NUMBER PERCENT __________________ ______ _______

African American 1203 56.24% Caucasian 898 41.98% Hispanic 18 .85% Native American 4 .19% Asian 0 0.00% Other/Unknown 16 .74% _______________________________________________________________________ 2139 Total Sample

Those listed as Other/Unknown refused to complete racially related questions.


Prisoners Released on Parole, Shock Parole or Furlough 12-91 to 1-97.

GROUP NUMBER PERCENT ________________ ______ _______

African American 1003 60.97% Caucasian 580 35.26% Hispanic 33 2.01% Native American 12 .73% Asian 2 .12% Other/Unknown 15 .91% _______________________________________________________________________

1645 Total Sample

APPENDIX TO "An Analysis of Prisoner Release Data for the State of Ohio"

In the section dealing with ethnic release data on pages 11 through 13 there was an accidental failure to clarify one point so as to be easily understood. This data relates to the parole of Black prisoners. In this section the fixed quota for Black prisoners at Orient Correctional Institution for the years 1993 through 1996, was 185. The two minor deviations can be attributed to errors in record keeping on the part of the Ohio Adult Parole Authority.

This same area shows a chart which itemizes the percentages of ethnic groups released on parole. For the Black prisoners there is a nearly 5% greater release rate than the intake figures show should exist. The DR%C's intake percentages show 54+ to 56+% for Blacks. The actual release rate is nearly 61%. Where do these extra Blacks come from? Is the DR&C deliberately deflating the Black population? The answer is "partially." These extra Black prisoners result from the O.A.P.A.'s parole and parole violation policies. As noted in the charts showing releases by number of convictions the A.P.A. releases prisoners they know will reoffend. This gives them an inflated parole rate since approximately 1500 of these men are violated and returned to prison each year. This is itemized in the included DR&C literature. These 1500 men are then added back into the prison's populations. Because these men already have numbers they are not reflected on the DR&C's yearly intake figures. They are excess. When you compare the number of these repeat offenders that are paroled against the number of parole revocations! it is surprising that more of them aren't violated. These men are placed under very close scrutiny and violated for the slightest technical offense.

The Ohio Adult Parole Authority is deliberately releasing less Whites which violates the civil rights of every White prisoner who was qualified for release and was not due to the color of his or her skin. Expanded to a system-wide context the 8% fewer White releases can amount to hundreds in a single year.

In the same context the fixed quota for Blacks also ignores their qualifications for release. If 350 men in a given year are qualified to go home under the guidelines and only 185 are released, the civil rights of the others who were denied release on the basis of the color of their skin have been violated also.

It is well known by all the prisoners in the Ohio system that the pat excuse for a "flop" is "nature of the offense," no matter what that offense is. This gives the Parole Board a rather shaky justification under their complete and unbridled discretionary powers. The truly upsetting aspect of this is that first offenders, both Black and White, are left to sit while men who have shown a definite tendency to reoffend are released only to be violated. These are wasted paroles which could have gone to first offenders the Parole Board knows stand an excellent chance of never returning. But this would be counterproductive to the DR&C and OAPA goals of building more prisons and establishing a greater budgetary and political power base. The "Kiddie Parole Board" shows their intent to start destroying lives at a much younger age in order to increase their potential adult prisoner base. "Vocational" programs within the prisons will turn into Ohio Penal Industries factories and the prisoners will be the new slave labor of the coming century.

If you doubt this ask yourself three questions: Why would any government agency want more crime and more prisons in their own society? Why, in an age that is becoming more technical, are "mind programs" such as college forbidden while "manual labor programs" such as vocational education mandated? Why does the DR&C spend $400 million on new prisons and only $4 million on drug programs when the DR&C itself says that 80% of prisoners have drug and/or alcohol related problems which led to their incarceration? Wouldn't it seem a lot more intelligent and much more beneficial to society, our society, to work on curing the problem rather than building more cattle pens?