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Update on OACDL's Efforts to Address COVID-19 in Ohio's Prisons

Update on OACDL’s Efforts To Address COVID-19 in Ohio’s Prisons

As our recommendation to the governor for categorical commutation has not been adopted, the OACDL is working with the Ohio Public Defender office to request judicial release for approximately 1,600 prisoners.  Last week, the OPD identified the prisoners for whom it would seek judicial release, either through its own lawyers or the lawyers of large public defender offices. 

On Friday, the OPD provided the OACDL with a list of the remaining prisoners.  The OACDL segmented that list according to appellate district and recruited OACDL members to serve as ‘district managers’. 

Today (Monday), the list was sent to district managers.  They will now contact the counsel of record and request that he or she file for judicial release on behalf of the client (if the client agrees).  They will also provide counsel of record with resources which include:  a model motion for judicial release, a request to expedite the hearing due to COVID-19 emergency, instructions for communicating with the client using JPay videoconferencing, and instructions for receiving an expedited and abbreviated institutional history for the client.

***If you would like to assist the district managers with contacting counsel of record, please email me today: .

For any lawyer who declines the request to seek judicial release, we will seek volunteers from the OACDL to seek judicial release for that lawyer’s client. 

***If you would like to volunteer, please sign-up on the OACDL website.

With the growing number of Ohio inmates infected with the virus, we are hopeful the governor’s office will reconsider our recommendation for categorical commutation to more efficiently and effectively reduce the prison population.


Shawn Dominy,

President, OACDL

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