Let it be noted that the below opinion of an Ohio prisoner reflects that individual's personal experience with the parties either specifically named or referred to by XXX. This editor's job is to use the information received at FADS to inform the public of the problems that are prevalent in all Ohio prisons and with the Parole Board's procedure for determining parole. This is not the only time that this editor has heard and/or read of cruelty and vindictiveness being used during the parole hearing process by the members of the Board hearing officers. We believe that the "get-tough" attitude that this officer exhibits is not that uncommon with many of the hearing officers, as alluded to in the below paragraphs. And that is the essence of the problem. Such an attitude, displayed by paid employees of the State, is not professional, nor is it useful in determining who is or isn't qualified for release under parole conditions. It is this non-professional attitude that Sen. Jeffrey Johnson (sitting member of the CIIC) and other members of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, seek to redress in the proposal to limit discretion of the parole decision process. Mandatory guidelines will work to remove this acrimonious atmosphere from the parole hearing process, insuring that objective criteria replaces subjective, therefore highly unreliable, thinking and decision making by those granted this level of unregulated power by the State of Ohio.
There is something explicitly wrong with the mentality of Ms. XXX, a hearing officer assigned to Grafton Correctional, Lorain Correctional, Northeast Pre-Release and Trumbull Correctional. She is the most despicable, uncaring, cruel, mean, vindictive, unforgiving and self-righteous individual that I have ever had the displeasure to meet. She sits on the parole board as if she were "God Almighty," meting out time to the prisoners in a manner bordering on "psychosis." Her negative, pessimistic attitude helps her to exude venomous retaliatory comments from her mouth as if she were the "victim" of every case she hears. She is a classic example of the new "attitude" of parole board members alluded to Ms. Ghee. With her hateful mean-spirtedness, no one will receive a fair chance who sits in front of her. Ms. XXX, fortunately, did not come to Northeast for several months; the women were seen by Mr. Miller, Mr. Kline, Mr. Stevens, and Ms. Andrews-Jones. I am certainly not saying that these individuals are above criticism on some decisions they have determined recently. However, they were forthright, yet understanding, not cruel or malicious in giving the women a chance to explain their crimes and discuss their futures. The release rate went back to something that was at least tolerable.
With Ms. XXX's acrimonious return, only two (2) out of eighteen (18) women who were seen by her panel in September received their immediate freedom. She had this same rate or less for August when she returned. These two women were already serving 6 month flops so they had no reason not to let them go. The rest were victims of her dictatorial tirade. One has to wonder if the gossip is true that she was a victim of a crime? If true, why is she allowed to sit as a hearing officer over convicted criminals seeking their release? NO prisoner will stand a chance who has to see her!! Doesn't Ms. Ghee have psychological profiles performed on these people before they are allowed to judge others? I can't imagine her passing one as to her objective capability to form an opinion in each case on its own merits.
I must reiterate that some parole board members are "out of control" in Ohio with the power vested to them by our erstwhile legislature. It is now time for our elected legislative representatives to step forward and "correct the mistakes" others have allowed to permeate the parole board for years. Each citizen should demand their representatives put an end to the reign of terror procreated by Ms. Ghee and her band of malevolent, spiteful, and acrimonious renegades.
Decisions of judges and juries can be appealed to the Supreme Courts of the United States. Yet the decisions of this assemblage are not appealable to anyone. Who are these people to have "unrecorded" hearings, pronounce years of continuances and not be accountable or answerable to anyone? How dare the efficient and adept legislature of tbis State bequeath a group of power-hungry, egotistical persons such as these this much unchecked power? Where is the system of checks and balances which is presumed to be the foundation of American constitutional government?
Some prisoners should have never been sent to prison in the first place, and are kept in prison to ensure the parole board's "State lifetime guaranteed" employment. Spend money for schools to keep individuals from having to resort to crime to survive in many instances; don't continue to build prisons to keep contractors such as Governor Voinovich's brother getting rich from your tax money.
Taxpayers of Ohio -- stop allowing the Department of Corrections and the Adult Parole Board to guarantee their jobs by keeping prisoners in prison who are not a threat to society!
Just imagine an institution that hired vocational instructors almost one year ago and has paid their salaries for that time when they had no equipment or books for a class. Not one student has taken a class in Secretarial Sciences or Culinary Art because the institution has not started the classes. Probably $50,000 of your taxpayers dollars have been spent on salaries for those instructors who have sat here doing absolutely nothing for almost a year. I don't blame the instructors; it's certainly not their fault. (If I could come here every day and draw a salary just for showing up, I would also, so I cannot be critical of them.) The blame has to be set squarely on the shoulders of the managing officer, Dr. Norman Rose, to allow this fraud to continue unchecked for almost one year. This deception was implemented in the first place to pass the American Correctional Association audit as to vocational classes being in place. Perhaps Director Wilkinson doesn't know (or doesn't care) about this fiasco at the Northeast Pre-Release Center, as he probably doesn't know (or doesn't care) of other wasteful practices of his managing officers. Isn't this misrepresentation, called malfeasance, a crime? Why haven't Dr. Rose and all those connected in the administrative building with this crime and cover-up been indicted and at the least fired?
Perhaps if Dr. Rose came to work, instead of teaching at Cleveland State University on state time, or having magnificent banquets of shrimp, crab, and other expensive delicacies with the inmate food budget, and last, but not least, remained sober, the state of this institution would not be as it is today with lawsuits coming from every angle due to the inept behavior of his staff.