OACDL Addresses Problem of COVID-19 in Ohio's Prisons
Over the past several days, the OACDL Executive Committee has been discussing how to address the urgent problem of COVID-19 in Ohio’s prisons. It is expected that prison conditions which do not permit social distancing will result in rapid spread of the coronavirus. To reduce the impact of the virus, it is essential that the prison population be significantly reduced.
The Executive Committee, with the assistance of the Committee for Conviction Integrity and Post-Conviction Review, endeavored to establish an effective strategy for obtaining the release of people incarcerated in Ohio’s prisons. On April 1, 2020, the OACDL delivered a letter to Governor DeWine requesting that he release certain inmates. The letter proposes a tiered structure for a rolling release of inmates by category until the target prison population has been achieved. A copy of the letter to Governor DeWine is below.
Governor DeWine has invited the OACDL to participate in discussions regarding options for potential early release of incarcerated individuals. We are pleased to have a ‘seat at the table’ for these discussions.
The Executive Committee, with valuable input from the Committee for Conviction Integrity and Post-Conviction Review, worked to develop a strategy which would achieve the goal of reducing the prison population. We would prefer to see more individuals included in the categories of releasees, but we also desired for our proposal to be realistic, collaborative, and well-received. We will continue to share information about the OACDL efforts to release prisoners as the situation develops.