CIIC Updates


Welcome to the Updates section of the CIIC website. This page provides an archive of the listserv emails sent out from CIIC Director Joanna Saul.  However, it is updated only as we have time.  If you wish to sign up to receive the emails, please use the link on the main page.  

12/17/2015 Art Exhibit Images - 1 of 2


Inside Looking Out: Creative Works by Ohio Prison Inmates
November 5-December 12, 2015
Vern Riffe Center Lobby

Inmates from several Ohio prison facilities create works of art with unexpected, imaginative recycled materials in addition to conventional media. The exhibition is presented by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, the Ohio Art Council's Riffe Gallery, and the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee.
 
 
Grafton Correctional Institution
               
 
Ross Correctional Institution
 
Richland Correctional Institution
               
People’s Choice Award for Best 3D Work in the Exhibit
 
 
Lake Erie Correctional Institution
 
Trumbull Correctional Institution
               
 
Franklin Medical Center
 
Lebanon Correctional Institution
               
 
Madison Correctional Institution
 
Marion Correctional Institution                 Franklin Medical Center
               
 
Ohio Reformatory for Women
 
Mansfield Correctional Institution                 London Correctional Institution
               
People’s Choice Award for Best 2D Work in the Exhibit                  


12/17/2015 Lake Erie Correctional Institution, Inmate Art Exhibit, Conclusion of DYS Litigation


Hello!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of its latest inspection report, on Lake Erie Correctional Institution (LAECI) in Conneaut (Ashtabula County).  LAECI was the first state prison in the nation to be sold to a private company, and it converted to the control of the Corrections Corporation of America on December 31, 2011.  The facility had a rocky start with high staff turnover, increased violence and gang activity, and low involvement in meaningful programs and prosocial activities.  Since that time, however, the facility has drastically improved.  The following are key findings:

 

  • Violence has significantly decreased, as has reported gang activity.  Use of force – previously a main concern – has improved.  Contraband conveyance, another primary concern, has significantly decreased.

 

  • In Health and Wellbeing, unit conditions were rated positively, with the potential exception of inmate reports of poor cleanliness in the showers.  In medical services, staff reported zero backlogs for inmate appointments and staffing levels appeared to be adequate.  Mental health services were rated exceptional due to the timely access to care, low critical incidents, and good number of programs offered to inmates. 

 

  • Under Fair Treatment, LAECI is at the forefront of the DRC’s initiatives regarding restrictive housing.  The segregation population is drastically reduced, with an entire range dedicated to limited privilege housing rather than the 23/1 restrictive housing.  The unit includes a unique community service program, including inmates crocheting hats while in segregation! 

 

  • Rehabilitation and Reentry is generally positive, as LAECI has two full-time dedicated reentry staff and a new, impressive reentry center.  Staff documentation for release plans was generally good.  LAECI boasts a large number of inmate-led groups and programs, although inmate completions of rehabilitative programs was somewhat low. 

 

  • In terms of Fiscal Accountability, LAECI was 100 percent compliant in its most recent fiscal audit and the facility completed multiple capital improvement projects in 2015.  The officer survey that CIIC conducted returned some of the most positive results of any institution surveyed.  Overall turnover appears to have decreased, training was excellent, and almost all staff performance evaluations were completed timely.  LAECI conducted requisite energy and waste audits and graduated 28 inmates from the Roots of Success sustainability program.   The only negative was that utility costs increased and recycling revenue was low.

 

The inspection brief is attached to this email and the full inspection report is available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

Inmate Art Exhibit: The inmate art exhibit is ending this Sunday!  If you haven’t gotten a chance to take a look, take the time now!  But no fear if you miss it, LIS has helped us out and there are pictures of the art exhibit available under the “CIIC Updates” tab on the CIIC website.  Thanks again to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and the Riffe Gallery/Ohio Arts Council for partnering with us on the exhibit.  We hope to do it again soon!

 

Conclusion of DYS Litigation: The decade-long litigation over conditions of confinement in DYS has finally come to an end.  The lawsuit was originally filed in 2004 on behalf of the girls in Scioto JCF (now closed) and later expanded to all DYS facilities.  DYS accomplished tremendous change in the past decade, with the assistance of DOJ and federal court monitors.  Last year DYS achieved compliance in all areas except mental health and seclusion (solitary confinement in a youth’s room).  As you may have read, DYS completely changed its method of responding to youth violence in the past year and drastically limited its use of seclusion in response to acts of violence.  Contrary to prior thought, the reduction of seclusion has not resulted in an increase of violence, and DYS has actually seen a concurrent decrease in violence overall. Overall, the state can be proud of the word that DYS has done to decrease the incarcerated juvenile population and to improve conditions of confinement.  Ohio is truly a model for the nation in juvenile correctional reform.  http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/editorials/2015/12/14/1-lawsuit-over-everyone-won.html

 

Publication from Bureau of Justice Statistics on Veterans in Prison: As you may know, CIIC has an interest in veterans in prison and hosted a meeting earlier this year on the topic.  The Bureau of Justice Statistics recently put out a report that gave the very positive news that the number of veterans incarcerated in state and federal prisons and jails has decreased.  You can check it out here: http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5479  Let’s keep the positive momentum going!

 

As always, thanks for your interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio!

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


12/17/2015 Art Exhibit Images - 2 of 2


Inside Looking Out: Creative Works by Ohio Prison Inmates
November 5-December 12, 2015
Vern Riffe Center Lobby

Inmates from several Ohio prison facilities create works of art with unexpected, imaginative recycled materials in addition to conventional media. The exhibition is presented by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, the Ohio Art Council's Riffe Gallery, and the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee.
 
 
Marion Correctional Institution                 Chillicothe Correctional Institution
               
 
 
Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution
 
 
Lebanon Correctional Institution                 Marion Correctional Institution
               
 
 
Marion Correctional Institution                 Ross Correctional Institution
               
 
 
Lebanon Correctional Institution                 Northeast Reintegration Center
               
 
 
Ross Correctional Institution                 Mansfield Correctional Institution
               
 
 
Ross Correctional Institution
 
 
Ross Correctional Institution                 Ross Correctional Institution
               
 
 
Correctional Reception Center and Southeastern Correctional Complex
 
 
Mansfield Correctional Institution                 Mansfield Correctional Institution
               
 
 
Franklin Medical Center                 Mansfield Correctional Institution
               


12/09/2015 Toledo Correctional Institution and Inmate Art Exhibit


Hello!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of its latest inspection report, on Toledo Correctional Institution (Lucas County).  As you may recall, we published an inspection report in the fall of 2013 that raised a number of serious concerns, particularly due to the number of inmate homicides and increase in violence at the institution.  The DRC engaged in a massive overhaul of the institution, including changes in the administration, increased staffing, and reduced inmate population.  We conducted a follow-up inspection last year that revealed dramatic positive change and we are pleased to announce the same this year.  TOCI is on a very positive path.  The following are key findings:

 

  • Overall violence continues to decrease and there have been zero homicides. Use of force has concurrently decreased and the overall review was generally positive, with a few identified areas of improvement. TOCI continues to report very few positive drug tests. Both unit and institutional security management were deemed exceptional.

 

  • In Health and Wellbeing, unit conditions were good. In terms of mental health services, staffing levels appear to be sufficient given the number of individuals on the caseload, and mental health staff provide several programming opportunities for inmates. A high number of inmates participate in recovery service programs. TOCI’s passage rates of recent health audits of food service operations were positive. Inmates are provided acceptable access to and variety of recreation activities. Medical services, however, continue to be in need of monitoring, particularly in regard to backlogs for Doctor Sick Call and chronic care appointments.

 

  • Under Fair Treatment, TOCI’s inmate disciplinary panel continues to be exceptional and the segregation population continues to decrease, in addition to the proactive implementation of programs for longterm segregation inmates.

 

  • Areas for ongoing improvement include inmate completion of rehabilitative programming and reentry planning, as well as officer satisfaction.

 

The inspection brief is attached to this email and the full inspection report is available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

Inmate Art Exhibit: Wow, what a success!  In fact, the positive feedback from the public has been such that the exhibit will be extended an additional week (now through December 20).  If you haven’t had a chance to look at the art in the Riffe lobby, please do! 

 

I am also pleased to announce the pieces of art that were picked as the People’s Choice Winners.  For the 3D objects, the Wooden Motorcyle and the Texaco Gas Station were the first and second place winners.  For the 2D art, the paintings of the clothespin holding the match and the cow won first and second.  Big thanks to everyone who submitted a judging form, including Senator Edna Brown, Rep. Hackett, Rep. Greta Johnson, Rep. Duffey, Rep. Hagan, Rep. Stinziano, Franklin County Commissioner Brown, and the many aides who participated!  We are hoping to do it again next year!

 

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


11/16/2015 Belmont Correctional Institution, Inmate Art Exhibit, and more!


Happy Halloween!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of its latest inspection report, on Belmont Correctional Institution in St. Clairsville, Ohio (Belmont County).  BECI is a medium security institution.  The following are key findings from the inspection:

 

  • BECI continues its positive trend of proactive, innovative corrections.  Violence continues to be relatively low despite the open-dorm environment, although inmates relayed safety and gang-related concerns. 

 

  • Unit conditions have improved significantly over prior years.  Medical services was very good, with zero backlogs and proactive management of the conversion to electronic health records.  Mental health services was rated exceptional, and the facility is one of four prisons to house the new comprehensive sex offender program.  Food services was rated highly, and all inmate food service workers are part of an incentive program.  Recreation was praised by both staff and inmates.

 

  • Fair Treatment indicators were exceptional overall.  BECI is on the forefront of DRC initiatives regarding restrictive housing and has steadily decreased its segregation population and increased programming.

 

  • BECI performs relatively well in its rehabilitation of inmates, with a reintegration unit at the camp and numerous specialty programs. 

 

  • Last, the institution's fiscal accountability is very good, with low vacancies and overtime.  The institution has scored 100 percent on its fiscal audits, which is exceptional.  BECI conducted the required energy/waste audits and reduced utility usage and costs.  It also enrolls a good number of inmates in a sustainability program.  The main concern in this area is staff morale, as officer survey results were negative.

 

The inspection brief is attached to this email and the full report is available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

Inmate Art Exhibit: Please see the attached invitation to the art exhibit and reception (in conjunction with the opening of the juried exhibit in the gallery) on November 5, from 5-7 pm!  Your offices should also be receiving a hard copy.  Due Amici will be providing light appetizers and wine will be available for purchase.  Come join us for a wonderful evening and take a look at the creative works of Ohio’s inmate population.  Trust me – you won’t be disappointed!  We are still looking for people to serve as “judges” for the artwork – email me to let me know if you’re interested!  If you’ve already contacted me, I will follow up with you next week with the judging sheet.  Thanks in advance!

 

Bureau of Justice Statistics report on mentally ill in restrictive housing: Check out this special report by BJS on the use of restrictive housing (solitary confinement, segregation, etc) across the nation: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/urhuspj1112.pdf  CIIC is currently working on its own report on the issue specifically in Ohio.

 

Juvenile Justice Coalition of Ohio report: In addition, check out this report on the deincarceration of the juvenile justice population in Ohio: http://jjohio.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Bring-Youth-Home-Report-10.26.15.pdf

 

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

614.644.7782

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


11/12/2015 Dayton Correctional Institution, Inmate Art Exhibit


Good afternoon!  CIIC is releasing a progress report on Dayton Correctional Institution, which was earlier inspected in February and at the time raised a number of serious concerns.  The following are key findings from the progress report:

 

  • Positively, the facility has made a number of key staffing changes, including hiring a dedicated Investigator, as well as an excellent PREA Coordinator.  PREA allegations have decreased and investigations are being timely completed.  The facility successfully passed its first PREA audit and performed well on its overall American Correctional Association audit. 

 

  • An experienced Deputy Warden of Special Services was brought on board, as well as a new Mental Health Administrator, and all mental health positions were filled at the time of the re-inspection.  The facility was in the process of a massive maintenance and renovation project, including the construction of a mobile unit for additional mental health administrative and programming space.

 

  • In addition, the facility brought in consultants from the National Institute of Corrections to conduct training for executive staff and supervisors on managing the female population.  Certain segments of the training have been added to the in-service training conducted for all staff.

 

  • However, CIIC sees the need to continue to monitor DCI, as sexual misconduct is always a concern at a female institution and even during the inspection, there were reports of an additional administrative staff person under investigation.  In addition, while all of the mental health positions had been filled and new space was being built for the mental health staff, no mental health programs had been conducted in over a month, despite the high acuity of the population, and the stability of staff has been an ongoing issue.  Reentry planning has improved in terms of documentation, but more work needs to be done to create a cohesive, collaborative, cross-disciplinary reentry environment for the women.  Last, there were also operational issues during the inspection that raised concerns regarding the level of communication between staff.

 

CIIC plans to return after another period of time to again re-inspect the facility.  The report is attached to this email and is available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

Inmate Art Exhibit: The inmate art exhibit opened last Thursday and it looks amazing!  I hope you’ve had the chance to see it in the Riffe lobby, but if not, take the time – it is incredible!  Thank you to Mary Gray of the Ohio Arts Council, as well as Irene Lyons and Scott Flowers of the DRC, who all worked together with CIIC to make the exhibit happen.  Thank you as well to the judges – we have been fortunate to have several elected officials serve as judges and in my next email, I will have the results!

 

 Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


10/20/2015 DRC Parole Population, Inmate Art Exhibit


Good afternoon!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of its latest data brief, which provides an overview of trends in the parole population.  This office receives a number of letters from or regarding the parole population, and I know the same is true of many legislative offices.  I hope that this brief provides some useful information to those of you who have questions about the Ohio Parole Board.  We were incredibly fortunate to hear a presentation by Cynthia Mausser, current DRC Managing Director of Court and Community, and Andre Imbrogno, current Parole Board Chair, in June, regarding the authority of the PB and changes over time.  The Parole Board population has changed quite significantly due to the passage of SB 2 in 1996, which limited the releasing authority of the PB to only life-maximum sentences (all others receive definite sentences with a predetermined outdate).  As the persons serving time under other offenses have been released over the years, the vast majority of the cases that the PB now hears involve very serious offenses against persons.

 

The following are key findings from the brief:

  • The DRC currently houses 8,793 inmates who are parole eligible.  These inmates are predominately male, middle-aged, and serving time for aggravated murder, murder, or rape.
  • The passage of SB 2 in 1996 restricted parole to only life maximum sentences, resulting in a decreasing parole-eligible population, composed of inmates serving time for higher level offenses.  As a result, total releases are decreasing and the average time served prior to parole is increasing.
  • Due to the changing parole eligible population, releases have similarly shifted to being predominately life-maximum sentences and F1 offenders.
  • The average time served in prison by men for life maximum sentences prior to parole has remained relatively stable.  

 

 

The report is attached to this email and is also available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

Upcoming Art Exhibit: CIIC is tremendously proud to be partnering with the DRC and the Ohio Arts Council on an upcoming art exhibit in the Riffe lobby!!  This is the first time that the lobby has hosted an inmate art exhibit and it will feature artwork from 19 of the 27 adult prisons across the state.  The following is the press release on the exhibit: http://www.oac.state.oh.us/News/NewsArticle.asp?intArticleId=804

 

Speaking of inmate art, I just returned from viewing an inmate production of Shawshank Redemption at Ross Correctional Institution!  If you’re interested, I believe they have one more showing.  You can contact Jennifer Haywood, Acting Warden’s Assistant at RCI, for more information (jennifer.haywood@odrc.state.oh.us).

 

┬┐Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


10/14/2015 Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility, Art Exhibit


Good morning!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of its latest inspection report, on Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility.  CHJCF is DYS’ primary placement for low and medium security youth.  It is a safe and rehabilitative facility with very positive interactions between youth and staff.  The facility is currently led by a new Superintendent who is invested in the success of the institution.  The following are key findings from the inspection:

 

  • CHJCF continues to shine in Reentry and Rehabilitation.  All youth receive life skills and personal growth programming, and they are offered a wide range of community service activities and volunteer-led programs.  Over the course of the prior academic year, 21 youth received GEDs and the library provides both large access as well as programs to encourage literacy.  Reentry planning is also good, with a school transition coordinator to connect youth with resources post-release.

 

  • CHJCF also excels in Fair Treatment indicators, as the number and rate of seclusion hours dropped significantly from 2013 to 2014 as part of DYS’ overall Pathway to Safer Facilities initiative.  Youth spoke very positively regarding staff and they also had a positive impression of the disciplinary process.  Last, CIIC’s review of grievances indicated that all responses were professional, timely, and responsive to youth concerns.

 

  • CHJCF’s overall Health and Wellbeing was also positive, as the units were very clean, with the exception of the seclusion rooms.  Both medical and mental health services appeared to be meeting the needs of the youth and there were zero backlogs for youth appointments.  The food service area appeared to be clean and the meals were very good.  Negatively, the number of youth placed on suicide watch and instances of self-injurious behavior have increased, there were two longstanding vacancies in medical services, and access to outside recreation appeared limited.

 

  • In terms of Safety and Security, the youth overall report that they are safe and that there is minimal gang activity.  Total youth-on-staff assaults has decreased and the review of uses of force was very positive, with excellent documentation and accountability provided by the administration.  The facility also successfully passed its most recent PREA audit.  Areas in need of improvement for the facility, however, included both violence outcome measures due to the increase in inmate-on-inmate assaults, and unit security management due to the poor documentation of rounds and bunk searches.

 

  • Last, Fiscal Accountability was generally acceptable, as the facility used less than their allocated funds in FY 2015 and it performed well on the fiscal audit.  CHJCF has decreased both utility usage and costs and performed several cost savings measures.  In terms of staff morale, surveyed youth specialists tended to view the facility positively, but had concerns regarding excessive overtime and favoritism.  Negatively, the facility completed only 29.0 percent of required performance evaluations on time, vacancies were high, and recruitment/retention initiatives appeared to be in their infancy.

 

The inspection brief is attached to this email and is also available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

Upcoming Art Exhibit: CIIC is tremendously proud to be partnering with the DRC and the Ohio Arts Council on an upcoming art exhibit in the Riffe lobby!!  This is the first time that the lobby has hosted an inmate art exhibit and it will feature artwork from across the state.  The following is the press release on the exhibit: http://www.oac.state.oh.us/News/NewsArticle.asp?intArticleId=804

 

Last, I read this editorial on DRC Director Mohr in the Toledo Blade and I want to echo its sentiments that the DRC has gone through tremendous positive change under his leadership that should be recognized and supported: http://www.toledoblade.com/Editorials/2015/10/13/Correcting-corrections.html

 

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


9/23/2015 Profile of Sex Offenders in Ohio Prisons, Inmate Art Exhibit


Good morning!  CIIC is pleased to announce its latest publication, a data brief on the DRC’s sex offender population, including information regarding its revamped programming.  Extensive work has been done to address sex offenders through sentencing; however, did you know that there is no national program to treat sex offender behavior?  Most sex offenders will be returning to the community and it is imperative that we provide programming and treatment both while they’re incarcerated and particularly post-release to ensure that future potential victims are spared.  Luckily, here in Ohio there have been efforts to establish an evidence-based program in collaboration with the University of Cincinnati that will hopefully become a national model.  They are also planning for a post-release component.  I encourage you to review the brief and learn more about this important segment of the incarcerated population.

 

The following are key findings from the brief (put together by our wonderful intern, Karin):

  • The DRC reports 7,707 inmates are currently serving time in an Ohio institution for a sex offense. An additional 2,415 inmates in the institutional population have a prior sex offense. Combined, this amounts to 20.1% of Ohio’s total institutional population.
  • Rape constitutes the largest category of current sex offenses represented in the DRC’s institutional population and carries the longest average time served.
  • Sex offenses are predominantly committed by males, with women accounting for only 2% of the sex offender population.
  • Sex offense commitments and average time served have remained relatively unchanged over the past 15-20 years.
  • The number of inmates entering the DRC with a prior adult felony conviction for a sexually oriented crime remains low (meaning recidivism is low).
  • Sex offenders face a number of collateral sanctions once they are released from prison, which may negatively impact job attainment and recidivism.
  • Sex offenders are primarily returning to the larger Ohio counties, although there are also higher concentrations in Lorain and Butler counties.

 

The report is attached to this email and is also available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

Upcoming Art Exhibit: CIIC is tremendously proud to be partnering with the DRC and the Ohio Arts Council on an upcoming art exhibit in the Riffe lobby!!  This is the first time that the lobby has hosted an inmate art exhibit and it will feature artwork from across the state.  The following is the press release on the exhibit: http://www.oac.state.oh.us/News/NewsArticle.asp?intArticleId=804

 

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


9/08/2015 Lorain Correctional Institution, Inmate Art Exhibit, and CIIC is hiring!


Good morning!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of its latest inspection report, on Lorain Correctional Institution in Grafton, OH (Lorain Co.).  LORCI is the DRC’s northern male reception facility.  It has traditionally been positive and innovative, with creative inmate activities, including beekeeping.  The facility has in the past struggled with overcrowding, but staff initiatives to improve communication with local counties have resulted in improved logistics.  The following are key findings from the inspection:

 

  • LORCI is at the center of the DRC’s reception reform, piloting an inmate mentor program that is not only phenomenal for the reception population, but will hopefully have greater implications for even parent institutions.  Release plan accountability was good and family outreach is encouraged.  LORCI’s transformation is very positive.
  • Violence has decreased at LORCI, and is significantly less than its brother reception institution to the south.  Other Safety and Security indicators were more mixed, as staff need to better preserve video documentation of use of force incidents and also evaluate whether incidents could be planned or lesser alternatives used.  Illegal substance use has also risen at the facility.  Positively, inmates reported feeling safe at the facility and the facility passed its Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) federal audit.
  • Under Health and Wellbeing, unit conditions were good and staff reported zero backlogs for medical appointments, which is exceptional, particularly considering the reception population.  LORCI boasts a new medical facility.
  • Officer interviews and survey results were mostly positive regarding their workplace environment, although there is still work to be done to ensure their buy-in in reception reform. 

 

The inspection brief is attached to this email and the full inspection report is available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

Upcoming Art Exhibit: CIIC is tremendously proud to be partnering with the DRC and the Ohio Arts Council on an upcoming art exhibit in the Riffe lobby!!  This is the first time that the lobby has hosted an inmate art exhibit and it will feature artwork from across the state.  The following is the press release on the exhibit: http://www.oac.state.oh.us/News/NewsArticle.asp?intArticleId=804

 

CIIC is hiring!  Interested in the work of CIIC?  Want to be a part of legislative oversight of the correctional departments?  Enjoy research, surveys, and data analysis?  Then we want you!  We currently have two open positions –please feel welcome to check out the attached position descriptions.  We are currently interviewing, so please let me know soon if you are interested and meet the minimum qualifications!

 

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


8/17/2015 Correctional Reception Center


Good evening!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of its latest inspection report, on the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio (Pickaway County).  CRC is a complex facility, handling many missions.  CRC is the DRC’s southern reception facility, which necessarily involves the challenge of taking in and processing whatever population of inmates each of its counties may bring to its door each day.  It also houses the primary Level 3 (close) security Residential Treatment Unit for inmates who are seriously mentally ill and/or experiencing a mental health crisis.  Within the past year it also started housing the state’s sole unit for any inmates under the age of 18, as well as the Sex Offender Risk Reduction Center, which provides reception programming for all sex offenders entering the DRC.    The following are key findings from the inspection:

 

  • CRC has made significant strides in the past several years.  This was particularly reflected in comments made by inmates who had been in CRC one or more times before, as they shared that CRC had improved over past years.  Medical services, which has raised concern in prior inspections, also demonstrated improvement under the direction of two new health care administrators.  The segregation unit, previously an area of serious concern for CIIC staff, was an entirely different environment, with inmates genuinely praising the segregation supervisor. 

 

  • The facility has played a key role in the implementation of the DRC’s “reception reform,” which has included innovative components such as the use of peer inmate mentors for reception inmates and an increase in programming and activities.  The facility also recently passed the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) audit with very high marks, which is truly a credit to them.

 

  • There is still work to be done, particularly in the area of use of force, which has been a concern at the facility for years.  Inmates continue to report incidents of unnecessary and excessive use of force and CIIC’s review also raised concerns.  The administration is aware of this concern, however, and has been working on it, including additional training opportunities.  Related, negative inmate/staff interactions were reported across all areas of the institution, and CIIC staff have particular concern regarding officer treatment of inmates in the Residential Treatment Unit.  The administration also has a lot of work to do to get the buy-in from the officers and so that they feel that they are part of the process and success of CRC.

 

Overall, the facility demonstrated improvement over prior years and CIIC has confidence in the current administration to continue improving.  The inspection brief is attached to this email and the full inspection report is available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

As always, thanks for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio!

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


8/12/2015 DRC Homicides


CIIC is pleased to announce its latest publication, which is a review of DRC homicides from 2000 to 2014.  The following are key findings from the brief:

  • The DRC experienced 26 homicides from 2000 to 2014.
  • The total number of homicides per year in the DRC hit a peak in 2013, with five total.
  • Higher security institutions generally experienced more homicides.
  • All homicides occurred at male facilities.
  • Inmates classified as white accounted for 73.1 percent of homicide victims.  Offenders were equally likely to be white or black.
  • The majority of incidents occurred on housing units and involved striking without a weapon other than a fist.
  • The average age of victims of homicides was 42.5; for aggressors, 38.1.
  • Ohio has a lower rate of homicides in its prison population than the national average.
  • Zero homicides have been found to be the result of a gang-ordered hit.
  • Most of the incidents appear to be the result of little to no premeditation, including incidents where the inmates shared a cell and did not get along, or where the victim died due to a physical vulnerability unknown to the offender.  In fact, most homicides resulted from small conflicts that escalated.
  • Most of the homicides resulted in charges for the offender; penalties range from weapon possession to the death penalty.

The brief is attached to this email and is also available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

As always, thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


8/05/2015 Illegal Substance Use in the DRC


Good morning!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of its latest data brief, on illegal substance use in the DRC.  The following are key findings from the brief:

 

  • The percentage of inmates who tested positive on random drug tests increased from CY 2012– 2014.

 

  • In an effort to identify and control the use of illegal substances, the DRC increased the number of drug tests from CY 2012 to 2014.

 

  • Marijuana was the most common illegal substance detected on inmate drug tests with 79.0 percent of the positive tests.

 

  • Level 1&2 institutions had the highest number of positive drug tests from CY 2012 – 2014.

 

  • In CY 2014, Noble Correctional Institution, a Level 1/2 facility, had the highest percentage of inmates testing positive on random drug tests with 9.0 percent.

 

The DRC has taken several measures to try to stop the flow of contraband conveyance into its institutions, including ongoing shakedowns of inmates, increased monitoring of both visitors and inmate communication, and partnerships with outside agencies, but it is an ongoing battle.  We have been at Mansfield Correctional Institution this week and they have been dealing with an unusual difficulty in the fight against contraband conveyance: drones.  See more here: http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/story/news/local/2015/08/03/manci-drone-followup/31078367/

 

The data brief is attached to this email and is also available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

For any media inquiries, please note that I am out of the office today, although I can attempt to respond to email after 5 pm.  I would instead direct you to the DRC via JoEllen Smith.

 

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


7/14/2015 Madison Correctional Institution, CIIC Meeting, DRC/DYS Budget


Good morning!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of its latest inspection brief, on Madison Correctional Institution in London, OH (Madison County).  MACI is a low security institution housing Level 1 and 2 inmates.  The following are key findings from the inspection:

 

  • MACI has made several improvements over the past two years under the leadership of the current Warden; however, CIIC hopes that further improvement is made to ensure that MACI fulfills its promise as a rehabilitative center. 

 

  • MACI rates well in Safety and Security as it is acknowledged by both inmates and staff as one of the safest prisons in Ohio. 

 

  • MACI also rates highly in Health and Wellbeing, as again both inmates and staff commented positively on the cleanliness of the institution.  Both medical and mental health services reported zero backlogs for services, which is exceptional. 

 

  • In terms of Fair Treatment, the primary issue continues to be staff/inmate interactions, as inmates throughout the inspection relayed negative comments regarding how certain staff (particularly non-regular officers) treat them, including the use of racially derogatory names and calling inmates slurs related to sex offenses. 

 

  • Turning to Rehabilitation and Reentry, the Warden and administrative staff have worked to increase access to programs, but more needs to be done.  They are applauded for their focus on family and community engagement, which is surely one of the best in the state. 

 

  • Last, Fiscal Accountability is relatively good, as staff overtime costs and property reimbursement costs have decreased.  Staff management could be improved as turnover has increased, retention initiatives are minimal, and officers relayed concerns regarding supervision and communication with the administration.

 

The inspection brief is attached to this email and the full inspection report is available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

CIIC Meeting: CIIC held its first meeting of the biennium on June 25.  We were fortunate to have all eight legislators in attendance and we had excellent speakers, including Fred Stratmann from the Ohio Department of Veterans Services on the need for additional veterans treatment courts, as well as Judge Melissa Powers from Hamilton County who runs one of the veterans courts.  We played a news clip regarding the veterans hallway in SOCF, Ohio’s maximum security prison, and also heard from LECI Warden Ernie Moore on various veterans programs and services in the DRC.  Last, we heard from a representative of the VA who works with inmates post-release.  Overall, it was truly a great and informative meeting.  We have a high number of veterans in our state prison system and considering how they have served our country, they deserve our consideration for any programs or support to keep them out of prison.

 

DRC and DYS Budget: For your potential interest, attached is a letter from DRC Director Mohr regarding DRC funding in the budget bill.  Below is DYS Director Reed’s message re the DYS budget.

 

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


6/23/2015 DRC Use of Force, CIIC Meeting


Good morning!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of its latest report, on the use of force in prison.  As the nation has been focused on use of force in our communities, recall that use of force is just as critical in prison, particularly as it happens behind closed correctional doors.  Human Rights Watch recently published a report on the use of force on mentally ill inmates (http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/usprisoner0515_ForUpload.pdf), which is an ongoing concern.

 

In Ohio, we have been fortunate to have high correctional level staff, particularly the DRC Managing Director of Operations, who have focused on use of force and increased the level of comprehensive training, challenging staff to think about not just the type of force to apply, but also how to decrease the need for force, as well as the likelihood of injury.  Use of force incident tracking has been a concern across the state; however, the DRC is also in the process of implementing an enhanced tracking system that will also allow for greater tracking of inmate characteristics, including mental health caseload status. 

 

The following are key findings from our data brief on use of force:

  • Total use of force incidents decreased by 16.4 percent from CY 2010 – 2014.
  • In 2014, there were 4,153 uses of force.  63.8 percent of inmates involved in use of force incidents were black.
  • Mansfield Correctional Institution, which houses Level 3/close security offenders, had the highest number of use of force incidents in 2014 with 464 incidents.
  • At Lebanon Correctional Institution, traditionally reporting the highest number of use of force incidents, uses of force decreased from 1,019 in 2011 to 365 in 2014.
  • Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, which houses Level 4/maximum security offenders, had the highest use of force rate in 2014.
  • Dayton Correctional Institution, which houses female inmates, experienced the largest increase in uses of force from 2013 to 2014.  Lake Erie Correctional Institution experienced the largest decrease.

 

CIIC Meeting: CIIC will hold a meeting on Thursday, June 25, to focus on incarcerated veterans issues (due to scheduling issues, it is no longer a joint meeting).  The meeting will hear testimony regarding veteran diversion/treatment courts, in-prison programs, and post-incarceration reentry services.  Attached is the flyer/agenda.

 

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


6/17/2015 Warren Correctional Institution, CIIC Meeting


Good morning!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of its latest inspection, on Warren Correctional Institution in Lebanon, Ohio (Warren County).  WCI is a Level 3/close security facility, with a concentration of inmates with more acute mental health needs.  The following are key findings from the inspection:

 

  • CIIC’s primary concern with WCI is the drastic increase in assaults, particularly in its inmate-on-inmate assaults, and its overall assault rate ranked second in the state in 2014.  Other violence indicators – fights and disturbances – are also very high.
  • Health and wellbeing indicators were good, as unit conditions were good and maintenance of the facility has improved.  Both medical and mental health services reported zero backlogs for inmate appointments, despite the high acuity of the population.  It houses a Residential Treatment Unit for inmates experiencing a mental health crisis, an Intensive Treatment Program for outpatient services, and it was chosen as the pilot site for a program to divert mentally ill inmates from the maximum security institution.
  • WCI has significantly decreased its population in restrictive or limited privilege housing.
  • WCI offers a number of rehabilitative programs, a strong accountability system for reentry paperwork, and has a high number of volunteers that come in to work with the inmates.
  • Fiscal accountability is acceptable, with the facility reporting high overtime costs and above-average staff turnover.  The officer survey revealed significant praise for the middle-level supervisors, although a concern was raised regarding communication with the administration.

 

The inspection brief is attached and the full inspection report is available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

CIIC Meeting: CIIC is holding a joint meeting with the House Armed Services, Veteran Affairs, and Public Safety Committee on June 25 from 9-10 am – “From the Front Lines: Reducing Recidivism for Justice-Involved Veterans.”  The meeting will hear testimony regarding veteran diversion/treatment courts, in-prison programs, and post-incarceration reentry services.  Attached is the flyer/agenda.

 

Sick, Tired, and Behind Bars: NAMI Ohio has produced an excellent video featuring Governor Kasich, Attorney General DeWine, and DRC Director Mohr on the topic of the mentally ill behind bars.  I strongly encourage you to check it out.  Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiFl6GKqiC0

 

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


6/04/2015 Lebanon Correctional Institution


Good morning!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of its latest inspection report, on Lebanon Correctional Institution (Warren County).  LECI is a Level 3/close security prison.  LECI has made tremendous progress under the current Warden and executive staff, which cannot be overstated.  Traditionally, LECI has concerned CIIC staff due to the level of violence and uses of force; staff have drastically reduced both in recent years through concerted effort and increased accountability.  This is truly an achievement.  In addition, the workplace environment overall – previously another ongoing issue at LECI – has been significantly improved through multiple employee appreciation initiatives by Warden Moore, including the renovation of the roll call room and the relocation and upgrade of the training complex.  Last, the restrictive housing population (aka segregation) at LECI, which used to be the largest in the state, has been dramatically decreased.  Creating such institutional change in only a few years is remarkable and could only have been achieved with the talented administration at LECI.

 

From an inmate perspective, there continues to be a large number of concerns regarding LECI, including inmate safety due to gang activity, continued concerns regarding excessive use of force and negative staff/interactions, and the conditions of the aging facility, including pest/vermin issues, among others.  There is no doubt that LECI is still a work in progress and that it remains a difficult placement with a large number of violent, disruptive inmates, and a staff culture that continues to evolve.  However, the progress that has been achieved both deserves recognition and indicates that LECI is on the right course for the future.

 

The inspection brief is attached to this email and the full inspection report is available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

DAS sale of North Central Correctional Complex: HB 239, recently introduced, proposes the sale of the property of North Central Correctional Complex, a prison in Marion, Ohio that is currently privately operated by the Management and Training Corporation (MTC).

 

Piper Kerman’s Move to Columbus: As many of you may know, the author of Orange is the New Black has moved to Columbus and is teaching writing classes at Marion Correctional Institution and the Ohio Reformatory for Women.  Pretty amazing to have a connection to the best-selling author right here in our state and prison system.  Here’s the article: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/life_and_entertainment/2015/05/31/1-author-of-orange-explains-ohio-move.html

 

Thank you for your ongoing support of and commitment to corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


5/20/2015 London Correctional Institution, House Appointments, New Staff


Good morning!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of its latest inspection report, on London Correctional Institution (Madison County).  LOCI is a medium security facility, and it is the oldest male facility in the state.  The following are key findings from the report:

 

  • CIIC’s evaluation of LOCI in 2015 was overall positive.  A number of staff relayed positive comments regarding the new Warden and the direction of LOCI under his leadership.
  • Under Safety and Security, the facility has experienced an increase in violence, although they tend to be lower than comparator prisons.  Uses of force have decreased and accountability has improved through the preservation of video evidence.  Inmates’ perception of their safety at LOCI is very good, and both unit and institutional security management are good.  The only negative in this area was the high number of inmates testing positive for an illegal substance.
  • In Health and Wellbeing, housing unit conditions were good, which is particularly remarkable given the age of the facility.  Medical services had adequate staffing and no backlogs for appointments.  Mental health services also had no backlog and offered a good range of programs, although their psychiatric hours were low for the caseload.  Both Food Services and Recreation were good.  Last, a true point of pride for the institution is its Recovery Services, which is exceptional in its access, programming, and family outreach.
  • Turning to Fair Treatment, the only concerns in this area were the high level of sanctions, and inmate/staff interactions continue to be a concern.
  • LOCI performs well in Rehabilitation and Reentry, particularly with a large number of purposeful activities and several dorms with specific programming missions, as well as a large OPI shop. A highlight in this area is the Library, which is the best in the DRC, and maintains a large number of reentry materials. The facility also has a large number of community volunteers that come in to work with the inmates, and a recent job fair included 22 community agencies and was attended by 850 inmates.
  • Last, Fiscal Accountability was overall good. 

 

The inspection brief is attached to this email and the full inspection report is available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

CIIC House Appointments: CIIC’s House appointments were made and I am very pleased to welcome Rep. Bob Hackett back, as well as new members Rep. Doug Green, Rep. Hearcel Craig, and Rep. Greta Johnson!

 

CIIC New Staff: CIIC is incredibly fortunate to bring on board Martha Spohn, a former Assistant Director of DYS and a program director of the Oasis therapeutic community at Pickaway Correctional Institution.  With her years of correctional service and broad knowledge of both adult and juvenile corrections, she is a true asset to CIIC.  Martha has hit the ground running in evaluating reentry preparation and we are excited to see how she furthers the mission of CIIC.

 

Thank you for your ongoing support of and commitment to corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


5/06/2015 Trumbull Correctional Institution


Good morning!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of its latest inspection report, on Trumbull Correctional Institution in Leavittsburg (Trumbull County).  TCI houses primarily higher security inmates, in addition to a minimum camp.  The following are key findings from the report:

 

  • Trumbull Correctional Institution remains the safest, cleanest, and most rehabilitative Level 3 prison in Ohio.  The facility is led by a Warden who was praised by both inmates and staff and the overall culture of TCI is positive.  The facility offers a number of opportunities that are uncommon in higher security facilities, promoted by positive and progressive staff.
  • Churning of the population has resulted in an increase in disciplinary convictions, but the staff are some of the best in the state at proactively tracking incidents and managing the population.  Inmates predominately reported that they felt safe.
  • The facility is very clean and both medical and mental health services were good, with adequate staffing and no backlogs.  The only concern in this area was recovery services, which is only area to be rated “in need of improvement,” due to the lack of services.
  • TCI shines in its access to rehabilitative programming and purposeful activities overall, including two ONE STOP shops for reentry planning, a health and wellness housing unit, and 100% completion of its release plans.
  • Fiscal accountability was also excellent, with high fiscal audit scores, low overtime and turnover, an excellent recycling/sustainability program, and very positive officer survey feedback regarding the workplace.

 

The inspection brief is attached to this email and the full report is available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

Aging in Prison: This is a fantastic Washington Post article on the topic of our aging inmate population, which is also a problem in Ohio: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2015/05/02/the-painful-price-of-aging-in-prison/

 

Thank you for your ongoing support of and commitment to corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


4/21/2015 Ohio Reformatory for Women, DRC Budget Overview


CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of its latest inspection report, on the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville (Union County).  ORW is the state’s primary facility for female offenders.  Overall, it offers inmates an exceptional range of activities that are geared toward preparing them for a successful reentry to society, ensuring that inmates leave the facility better than when they entered it, and it is led by a Warden who is both passionate and enthusiastic about her work.  It is one of the premier prisons in Ohio for demonstrating the rehabilitative side of corrections.  The following are key findings from the report:

 

  • For the most part, staff accountability is good for ensuring a secure environment and inmates reported that they felt safe. 
  • Unit conditions were overall good and mental health services – critical for the female population – were good, as were recovery services.
  • CIIC’s perception is that staff/inmate interactions have improved and the facility has significantly improved responsiveness to inmate complaints.  Both the disciplinary system and segregation were good.
  • ORW truly shines in rehabilitation and reentry, with a large number of excellent purposeful activities and job-training programs.
  • Negative findings included: use of force (including a lack of video and documentation errors); medical services had a large backlog for doctor appointments; the facility experienced a number of sanitation concerns in the food services area over the past year; and officer feedback via CIIC surveys was predominately negative.

 

The inspection brief is attached to this email and the full report is available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

DRC Budget Overview: CIIC is also publishing a data brief on the DRC’s budget.  The following are key findings:

  • From FY 2005 to 2014, the DRC expenditures totaled $16,406,415,015

 

  • After budget cuts in FY 2010-2012, total DRC expenditures dropped to less than FY 2005 levels.

 

  • Starting in FY 2013, the DRC spent slightly more (less than one percent) than their originally appropriated budget request.
  • From FY 2005 to 2014, Institutional Operations was the highest expense for the DRC (52.0 percent).

 

  • After budget cuts in FY 2010 and 2011, institutional operations expenditures returned to pre-budget cut levels in FY 2014.

 

  • Special needs populations – including medical and high security – carry the highest daily cost per inmate.

 

  • From FY 2005 to FY 2014,the line item for medical services increased 60.0 percent; however, reported actual medical expenditures have declined since FY2010.

 

  • Total expenditures from the mental health services line item decreased 21.9 percent from FY 2005 to FY 2013.

 

  • Since FY 2005, parole and community operations (halfway houses, CBCFs, etc) expenditures have increased 13.8 percent.

 

  • From FY 2005 to FY 2014, total educational line item expenditures decreased 14.1 percent.

 

The brief is also attached to this email and is available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

Thank you for your ongoing support of and commitment to corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


4/09/2015 DRC Medical Services


Good afternoon!  CIIC is pleased to announce the release of its latest data brief, on medical services in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.  The following are key findings from the brief:

  • Total DRC medical spending peaked in FY 2010, decreasing by 17.5% in FY 2014.
  • In FY 2014, the DRC spent $76.9 million for state medical services payroll and $25.3 million was spent on contractors and temporary workers, excluding dental staff and services.
  • The number of inmates per health care worker has steadily decreased and was the lowest ratio in CY 2013.
  • In CY 2014, there were 121,053 Nurse Sick Calls and 118,596 Doctor Sick Calls across the DRC, a 9.6% decrease and 2.7% increase from CY 2012.
  • Female institutions reported the greatest number of nurse sick calls in comparison to population.

 

The brief is attached to this email and is also available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

As relayed previously, the DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics put out a report analyzing state, federal, and local prisoner populations in 2011-2012.  The following are key findings from the report:

 

  • 40% of inmates reported having a current chronic medical condition
  • 21% of state and federal prisoners and 14% of jail inmates reported ever having tuberculosis, hepatitis B or C, or other STDs (excluding HIV or AIDS)
  • Females were more likely than males to report ever having a chronic condition
  • High blood pressure was the most common chronic condition reported
  • The majority of prisoners (74%) and jail inmates (62%) were overweight, obese, or morbidly obese.

 

The report can be found here: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/mpsfpji1112.pdf

 

NAMI Conference: Please see below announcement re the NAMI Ohio Conference, focusing on the incarceration of the mentally ill.

 

Thank you for your ongoing support of and commitment to corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


3/23/2015 Ohio State Penitentiary, DRC/DYS Budget, Medical Problems of Prisoners, NAMI Conference


CIIC is pleased to announce the release of its latest inspection report, on the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown (Mahoning County).  OSP is a national model for administrative maximum/supermax prisons.  It houses the state’s most violent and disruptive prisoners in a safe environment that is humane and as rehabilitative as possible.  The staff – from the Warden on down – are innovative at providing programming and mental stimulation despite the restrictive nature of the facility.  Even the inmates were overall positive in their comments about the prison, which is particularly remarkable given the population.  The following are key points from the inspection:

 

  • Health and wellbeing indicators were generally good.  The units were very clean.  Mental health services – always a concern given both this population and the highly restrictive nature of the facility – are good.  To be placed at OSP, inmates must first pass a mental health screening at the former facility and all inmates who have been at Level 5 for a year are placed on elevated mental health monitoring.  Both of these protections appear to be working.  Programming for both mental health and recovery services is good for the security classification level, and there was integration of healthcare services through the OSP Wellness program. 
  • Staff/inmate interactions at OSP are exceptional – this is again remarkable given the population.  Inmates were very positive regarding their unit staff, particularly their Case Managers, which is unusual. 
  • Rehabilitation and reentry indicators were generally good, given the security classification.  Staff have been innovative at providing reentry resources, programming, and mentoring for the population, which include some of the inmates most at-risk to reoffend once they return to the community.  Through a partnership with the Hope Center, inmates approaching release are individually mentored.  The library is a true point of pride for the institution, and inmates across the board were praising the library’s services.  Inmates also have excellent access to legal services, as the institution has a paralegal. 
  • Last, fiscal accountability indicators were all good, as well, and officers were very complimentary of the current Warden.  Overall, the facility is truly excellent, which is again remarkable for the population, and continues to innovate for even greater success in the future.

 

The inspection brief is attached to this email and the full report is available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

DRC and DYS Budget Testimony:  Both correctional departments testified before the House Finance Transportation Subcommittee.  The following are key points from their testimonies:

 

DRC

 

  • Increase in prison operations appropriations of $47.8 million in FY 2016 and $90.2 million in FY 2017. Approximately two-thirds or around $95 million of the increase will allow DRC to maintain and continue current operations. Funding for additional beds and staffing are included in the increased appropriations.
  • DRC population continues to rise, particularly the female population.
  • Investment in community corrections programs with a proposed increase in appropriations of $25.1 million in FY 2016, and $33.0 million in FY 2017.
  • Language in the budget will allow for judges to consider the release of inmates who have been rendered medically incapacitated, terminally ill, or in imminent in danger of death who would otherwise be ineligible for judicial release.
  • A significant partnership with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services will provide increased treatment within prisons and better connection to supports upon release, including a community network of designated treatment centers.
  • The DRC is a national leader in restrictive housing reform and has also decreased uses of force
  • The outsourcing of food services to a private vendor (Aramark) has resulted in projected FY 2015 cost savings of nearly $17 million.  The DRC is currently evaluating a proposal put forward by OCSEA.
  • Medicaid expansion has resulted in cost savings of $10.3 million for inpatient hospitalizations of inmates.
  • The DRC is proposing the elimination of all commission on both interstate and intrastate phone calls, resulting in a 75% reduction in costs.  Phone calls are important to maintain inmate connections with family members and positively contribute to reentry and recidivism reduction.

 

DYS

 

  • 93% of funding from last biennium
  • DYS now spends $60 million less per year on facilities than in 2008
  • Funding to support communities increased by 23% from 2009-2014
    • DYS funds community programs through Youth Services Grants to all 88 counties, Behavioral Health/Juvenile Justice (BHJJ), and 12 state-funded Community Corrections Facilities (CCFs)
  • Targeted RECLAIM rolled out in 2010 to six urban counties – from 2012-2013, the program was expanded to nine additional counties.
    • The original six counties reduced admissions to DYS by a total of 691 youth over the last five years
    • The nine expansion counties reduced admissions by 104 youth over the past 3 years
  • For every dollar spent on RECLAIM, the state saved between $13-$57 compared to incarceration

 

Medical Problems of Prisoners: The DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics put out a report analyzing state, federal, and local prisoner populations in 2011-2012.  The following are (shocking) key findings from the report:

 

  • 40% of inmates reported having a current chronic medical condition
  • 21% of state and federal prisoners and 14% of jail inmates reported ever having tuberculosis, hepatitis B or C, or other STDs (excluding HIV or AIDS)
  • Females were more likely than males to report ever having a chronic condition
  • High blood pressure was the most common chronic condition reported
  • The majority of prisoners (74%) and jail inmates (62%) were overweight, obese, or morbidly obese.

 

The report can be found here: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/mpsfpji1112.pdf

 

NAMI Conference: Please see below announcement re the NAMI Ohio Conference, focusing on the incarceration of the mentally ill.

 

Thank you for your ongoing support of and commitment to corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us


2/24/2015 Marion Correctional Institution and DRC updates on Aramark and LAECI


Good morning!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of its latest inspection report, on Marion Correctional Institution (Marion County).  MCI is a medium security prison.  MCI has a well-deserved reputation for its focus on programs.   In addition to offering the standard reentry-certified unit and educational programs, it also provides a number of unique opportunities, including the Lifeline Center, Prison News Network, an extensive garden, an animal and aquatics program, several inmate groups, and others.  It is nationally known for being the first prison to host a TEDx event and that level of innovative thinking infuses the environment.  In terms of reentry, MCI was the top male institution for inmates earning Certificates of Achievement and Employability, and it also has a connection to “Marion Matters” that links inmates from Marion County with community resources.  It also offers a number of family engagement opportunities, including a Father Daughter Dance, several plays that are open to the public, and holiday events.

 

The primary concern at MCI is in safety and security and keeping an eye on its violence outcome measures.  MCI experienced an increase in younger and more violent inmates in 2013, which negatively impacted its violence; its population was rebalanced in 2014, but given the changing DRC population overall, it will need to be prepared in the future.  Some of the unit security management issues need additional accountability, such as shakedown completions and rounds.  The inspection brief is attached to this email and the full report is available on our website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

DRC Updates: Acting CIIC Chair Sen. Hite asked me to forward two DRC updates pertaining to Lake Erie Correctional Institution and Aramark, which are also attached to this email.  The first document provides a comparison of performance measures for LAECI, comparing between CY 2013 and CY 2014.  As you can see, all of the performance measures have improved.  We look forward to returning to the facility for an inspection.  The second document demonstrates incidents in food services, based on incident reports and inmate complaints.  As you can see, although there was a spike in incidents over the summer, incidents then decreased through the rest of the year.  CIIC continues to monitor food service operations as part of each inspection process.  Last, the DRC would like to note as an addition to our biennial report that uses of force decreased 31% from 2011.

 

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


2/11/2015 DYS Seclusion and Budget


Good evening!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of its latest data brief, on seclusion in the Department of Youth Services.  Seclusion is broadly defined as the involuntary confinement of a youth in a safe room for a period of time, and was generally imposed after an act of violence.  This has been an area of tremendous change in 2014.  Last year, DYS moved (with the strong encouragement of the US Dept of Justice) to significantly limit its use of seclusion.  In comparison to 2012, total seclusion hours dropped 64.8 percent in 2014.  Despite the loss of this sanction, DYS reports that acts of violence have actually decreased.  The following are key findings from the attached brief:

 

  • In 2014, there were 66,027 reported hours of seclusion, a 64.8% decrease from 2012. Positively, the DYS system-wide rate of seclusion hours per youth decreased 57.3% during this period.

 

  • The largest number of seclusion hours occurred at Circleville JCF, totaling 32,492 reported hours or 49.2% of all hours.

 

  • Circleville JCF also reported the highest rate of seclusion hours per youth, with 255.8 hours.

 

You  can be proud to know that both adult and juvenile correctional departments in Ohio have been on the forefront nationally for positive change in restrictive housing.

 

Budget Items to Watch: As you likely already know, there are several big items of note involving corrections in the budget bill.  First, there is going to be a massive change with substance abuse treatment/recovery programs.  All such programs have traditionally been run by DRC staff.  As recently proposed in the Governor’s version of the budget, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services will be taking over all of the DRC Recovery Services staff and will be running those programs.  They are also adding significant substance abuse programming in communities so that inmates leaving prison can find spots in those programs and continue the path toward living a substance-free life.  As Director Gary Mohr is quoted in saying in the following article, “This is a remarkable leap forward.”  See an article on the topic here: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/02/07/addiction-programs-in-budget.html

 

In addition, the DRC is going to reduce the cost of phone calls for inmates by cutting the commission that it was originally charging.  Being able to contact one’s family and maintain strong connections to one’s support system makes a tremendous difference not only to an inmate’s mental wellbeing inside, but also to his ability to reintegrate with his family once he is released, promoting a higher likelihood of successful reentry.

 

Last, Senate President Faber is recommending (currently in a separate piece of legislation) that the DRC study the feasibility of converting an existing state correctional facility, another existing facility controlled by the department, an existing facility owned by the state or a political subdivision of the state, or an existing facility owned by a private entity into a substance abuse recovery prison.

 

Big changes are in the works for Ohio corrections, so stay tuned to these areas as the budget process moves forward.

 

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of oversight in Ohio corrections!

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


2/03/2015 Inmate Survey Report


Good morning!  CIIC had a very successful January – thanks to all of you who attended the CIIC Open House/Release of the Biennial Report!   Big thanks to CIIC staff (including our army of interns) who worked really hard in January to make it all happen.

 

Inmate Survey Report: As you may know, we conduct a survey of the inmate population at each institution as part of our inspection process.  I picked it up from the UK’s prison inspectorate and it is one of the things that I am proudest of having implemented.  We put together the surveys that we received back in 2014 into the attached report – 4,116 total survey responses from 16 institutions – and pulled out key points.  Another cool aspect of the report is that we asked for institutional staff to see if an inmate would be interested in drawing divider pages for the institutions in the report.  I definitely recommend taking a look at them, as they are really great, especially SOCF on p. 371, LECI on p. 161, and CCI on p. 57.  Big thanks to all the institutions that participated: AOCI, CCI, CRC, FMC, LECI, NCCC, RICI, SCC and SOCF!  Key findings from the surveys:

 

  • Inmates feel that they have enough clean clothes for the week, they are normally able to shower five days a week, they normally have the opportunity to request and receive cleaning chemicals every week, and they feel that their housing unit is generally clean.

 

  • Inmates are unsatisfied or very unsatisfied with the food, with the primary reason being portion sizes, followed by taste and the lack of variety.

 

  • A majority of inmates reported that they regularly used drugs or alcohol prior to incarceration.

 

  • Inmates reported that they had access to kites,[1] informal complaints, and health service request forms.

 

  • Inmates did not know who the Inspector is and do not feel that informal complaints, grievances, or appeals were dealt with fairly.

 

  • Inmates reported that they had not had sexual contact with staff and that they knew how to report it; similarly, inmates reported that they had not had sexual contact with other inmates and that they knew how to report it.

 

  • Inmates feel very safe, safe, or neutral in terms of safety.

 

  • A large majority (74.2 percent) reported that they had not been harassed, threatened, or abused by other inmates at the institution, which is notable.

 

  • The majority of inmates reported that staff had not discussed with them what programs they should be taking while incarcerated, discussed a reentry plan for them, nor did inmates know where they could find reentry resources.

 

DRC Pushing Back all Executions Previously Scheduled for 2015:  As you have likely seen in the news, the DRC has pushed back all executions previously scheduled for 2015 as they work out the process, including obtaining the specific drugs to use.  Here is a news article on the topic: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/01/30/ohio-lethal-injection.html.

 

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 

[1] Kites refer to a method of communication that involves a note from the inmate that can be sealed and sent to a staffperson.

 


1/15/2015 Biennial Report


Hello!  Thanks to everyone who came to our open house and release of our biennial report, with special thanks to Senators Hite and Thomas and Representative Howse.  The report is attached and will be posted on our website.

 

I would also like to thank the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and Department of Youth Services staff who helped us with the data for the biennial report, particularly Scott Neely and Kyle Petty.  Thank you as well to all of the correctional staff across the state for their hospitality and courtesy throughout the inspections.  As noted in the acknowledgments of the report, we respect the work that you do.

 

It was a pleasure to serve the 130th General Assembly and we also thank the CIIC Members from the last GA for their time and service on CIIC.  We look forward to serving the 131st!

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


1/05/2015 DRC Cost and Utilities Conservation, Open House, and NEOCC


Good afternoon!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season.  We have a great event coming up, as well as some information to share.

 

DRC Cost Conservation Data Brief:  As we head into the budget meetings, it is important to know what efforts are taken by agencies to conserve costs.  The DRC implemented a Sustainability Plan to reduce energy consumption and utility costs.  They have succeeded in reducing consumption, although costs continue to rise due to factors outside of their control.  Here are key points from the brief, which is attached to this email:

 

  • From FY 2012 - 2014, the DRC reduced water, natural gas, and electric usage.

 

  • From FY 2012-2014, the DRC increased their total utility costs by 8.5 percent including 18 institutions. Electrical costs were the most expensive.

 

  • From FY 2012 - 2014, the DRC reduced their waste removal costs by 19.5 percent and increased recycling revenue by 21.8 percent.

 

CIIC Open House and Biennial Report Release: On Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 2 pm on the 31st floor of the Riffe, we will have an Open House/official release of the biennial report to the 131st Ohio General Assembly.  Any and all interested persons in the public should feel welcome to attend!  We will have a short presentation with some of the highlights of the past two years in Ohio’s corrections systems.  Not only will this give you the opportunity to ask any questions of CIIC staff, it will also be a great educational opportunity.  We will of course have coffee and treats, provided by CIIC staff.  Hope to see you there!

 

NEOCC Loss of Contract:  As you may have seen in the news, the Corrections Corporation of America lost the bid to continue to house Federal Bureau of Prisons’ inmates.  The facility will continue to house US Marshal detainees, but that is a much smaller population and will result in the loss of jobs in the area.  CCA has indicated that they will seek new government partners, presumably county and state.  The facility is built in a high security structure similar to Toledo Correctional Institution, and given its northern location (particularly its proximity to Cleveland) and the general overcrowding of the DRC, could be of interest to the state.

 

SOCF Riot: We recently ran across several insightful videos posted on YouTube that document the aftermath of the SOCF riot in 1993.  Here is the first of three: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R87eFEcTNPE  The videos, taken by a corrections officer who provides running commentary, are a chilling reminder of the worst case scenario in corrections.

 

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


12/18/2014 DYS Education


Good afternoon!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of a data brief on DYS educational achievement.  The following are key points from the brief:

 

  • During the 2013-14 academic year, 727 total youth received academic services. In addition, 115 youth graduated during the year (15.8 percent of the academic enrolled population).

 

  • In the past five academic years, 50.1 percent of total enrolled students were on an individualized education program (IEP) for special education services.

 

  • The percent of students present for each class during the 2013-14 school year ranged between 85.9 and 94.7 percentCuyahoga Hills JCF reported the highest attendance rate.

 

  • During the 2013-14 academic year, youth in DYS facilities earned a total of 86 GEDs and 29 high school diplomas.

 

The report is attached to this email and is also available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

Death Penalty Legislation: Yesterday the House concurred with Senate amendments to legislation to shield the identities of companies that manufacture the drugs used in lethal injections.  The bill has been sent to Governor Kasich for his signature.

 

Updated DRC Population Projections: The DRC has released updated population projections, which can be found here: http://www.drc.ohio.gov/web/Reports/projections_december2014.pdf  As you know, the adult prison population continues to rise, and is nearing its highest total population.

 

CIIC Open House and Biennial Report Release: On Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 2 pm on the 31st floor of the Riffe, we will have an Open House/official release of the biennial report to the 131st Ohio General Assembly.  CIIC is statutorily required to submit a biennial report to the incoming GA.  We will have a short presentation with some of the highlights of the past two years in Ohio’s corrections systems.  Not only will this give you the opportunity to ask any questions of CIIC staff, it will also be a great educational opportunity.  We will of course have coffee and treats, provided by CIIC staff.  Hope to see you there!

 

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


12/11/2014 Southern Ohio Correctional Facility


Good morning!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of its latest inspection report, a follow-up inspection of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville (Scioto County).  SOCF continues to handle the challenging task of managing some of the state’s most violent inmates and the maximum security mentally ill population.  Violence and use of force have traditionally been high at the institution, and it has a reputation that precedes it.  The following are key points from the report:

 

  • Negatively, SOCF inmates in CIIC’s 2014 follow-up inspection continued to report concerns regarding negative staff/inmate interactions, including racism and excessive use of force.  These concerns track with prior years and with the letters that are sent to CIIC.  However, the facility has benefited greatly from the Warden, who has continued to bring new ideas and creative approaches to improving the institution over his tenure.  Along with his executive staff, he has worked to tackle these issues through greater staff training and increased accountability.

 

  • Quality of life issues, including unit conditions and healthcare, improved in recent years.   Although these areas were not separately evaluated, staff reported that staffing levels in healthcare have increased since the last inspection and there are no or minimal backlogs for inmate appointments.

 

  • Other than staff/inmate interactions, all other fair treatment indicators – inmate grievance procedure, inmate discipline, and segregation – have improved or remained stable.  Staff have improved responsiveness to grievance paperwork and accountability for the inmate disciplinary panel has improved significantly.  Few inmates had been in segregation for an extended period and the institution has worked diligently for several years to move inmates through the privilege levels and out to lower security institutions.

 

  • In terms of rehabilitation and reentry, SOCF has slightly improved although there is still work to be done.  Preparing a maximum security inmate for reentry to society is both a difficult task and yet one of the most important, as the inmates are often at a high risk to re-offend.

 

  • Last, SOCF continues to do well at staff management, with very positive officer survey results.  Officers relayed a high sense of camaraderie with their colleagues and support for their administration.  SOCF has also successfully reduced overtime – one of the Warden’s initiatives that was relayed in the prior inspection – and it passed both of its most recent fiscal audits with 100 percent.

 

There is still work to be done at SOCF, but CIIC is encouraged by the willingness of the administration to tackle the hard issues while in a challenging environment.   The report is attached to this email and is also available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

CIIC Open House and Biennial Report Release: On Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 2 pm on the 31st floor of the Riffe, we will have an Open House/official release of the biennial report to the 131st Ohio General Assembly, which is open to the public.  CIIC is statutorily required to submit a biennial report to the incoming GA.  We will have a short presentation with some of the highlights of the past two years in Ohio’s corrections systems.  Not only will this give you the opportunity to ask any questions of CIIC staff, it will also be a great educational opportunity.  We will of course have coffee and treats, provided by CIIC staff.  Hope to see you there!

 

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio!

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


11/24/2014 Toledo Correctional Institution


Good morning!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of its latest inspection report, on the re-inspection of Toledo Correctional Institution (TOCI).  The TOCI inspection and subsequent report was one of the most concerning of the biennium, but I am very pleased to say that TOCI has made an extraordinary transformation in the past year.  In the 2013 inspection, a number of concerns were raised regarding a high number of inmate deaths, healthcare services, security, management of the maximum security inmate population, and others.  Following the CIIC inspection report (and the DRC’s internal concerns), the DRC made large changes in the institution, including shifts in administrative personnel, decreasing the inmate population, increasing staff, consulting outside experts, and essentially conducting a top-to-bottom review.  The positive results were immediately apparent.  TOCI has improved in almost every area.

 

The institution is overall safer, with a perceptibly more secure environment.  Healthcare services, which have traditionally been problematic at TOCI, have drastically improved.  Fair treatment accountability – including the grievance procedure and the inmate disciplinary system – has improved and conditions in segregation were very good.  Access to purposeful activities has increased and reentry planning is significantly better than in the prior year.

 

Equally impressive is the change in staff.  Whereas in the prior year TOCI was losing staff at a fast rate, impacting the stability and security of the institution, TOCI has now implemented several initiatives to increase both retention and new officer confidence in managing a high security population.  The executive staff appear more cohesive and are highly visible to both inmates and staff.

 

There is still further work to be done, but TOCI is truly a testament to the impact of bringing resources to an institution and a concerted effort by DRC administration to change an environment for the better.  The improvement in the institution cannot be overstated and CIIC has faith that the institution will continue to advance.   The report is attached to this email and is also available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

CIIC Open House and Biennial Report Release: On Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 2 pm on the 31st floor of the Riffe, we will have an Open House/official release of the biennial report to the 131st Ohio General Assembly.  CIIC is statutorily required to submit a biennial report to the incoming GA.  We will have a short presentation with some of the highlights from the report regarding the past two years in Ohio’s corrections systems.  Any interested persons in the public are both welcome and encouraged to come – also feel welcome to bring any questions that you may have regarding CIIC and our work.  We will have coffee and treats, provided by CIIC staff.  Hope to see you there!

 

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio!

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us


11/14/2014 DRC Report on Escape from AOCI


Good afternoon!  As you know, the DRC experienced an escape from Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution in Lima, Ohio.  Three inmates escaped.  Please find attached the DRC’s report on the incident.  In addition, the following is a news article on the subsequent criminal trial for the escape for one of the inmates: http://limaohio.com/news/home_top-news/50630915/Inmate-gets-5-years-for-escape.  The other two inmates (Lane and Bruce) are already serving life sentences and the prosecutor therefore chose not to pursue charges.

 

The inmates who escaped were housed at AOCI as part of the Protective Control units (for inmates who have a substantiated threat to their safety).  Following the escape, the higher security PC inmates have been moved to higher security institutions. 

 

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us


11/12/2014 Mansfield Correctional Institution, DRC Overtime


Good morning!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of a follow-up inspection report on Mansfield Correctional Institution (Richland County).  MANCI has a history of being one of the more challenging prisons, housing approximately 2,600 higher security inmates, many of whom have gang affiliation.  Following the escape in July 2013, the facility underwent an extensive review that resulted in a change in administration.  The current Warden, Alan Lazaroff, came on board last November and has been steadily working to improve staff morale and the MANCI culture.  One of the most surprising findings of the follow-up inspection is his apparent success in doing so, judging by the positive results of the officer survey that CIIC conducted.

 

MANCI still has a number of concerns that need to be addressed, including ongoing concerns regarding all fair treatment indicators (staff/inmate interactions, inmate grievance procedure, inmate discipline, and segregation), but it appears to be moving in a positive direction under Warden Lazaroff’s direction.  The follow-up inspection report is attached to this email and is also available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

In addition, CIIC is publishing a data brief on DRC overtime.  The following are key findings from the brief (attached):

 

  • Overtime payouts decreased by 16.2 percent from FY 2010 to 2014. However, correctional officer overtime payouts increased by 6.1 percent.
  • From FY 2010 to 2014, the Franklin Medical Center paid the most in overtime, with $28,772,858.72.
  • From FY 2010 to 2014, the majority of DRC institutions decreased their total staff overtime costs.
  • From FY 2010 to 2014, $239,030,771.96 (75.9 percent) of DRC overtime payouts were paid to security staff

 

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio!

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


10/23/2014 Northeast Ohio Correctional Center


Good morning!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication its report on our site visit to the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown, Ohio, which is a federal facility privately operated by the Corrections Corporation of America.  The facility holds both US Marshal Service detainees and Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) inmates, who are primarily illegal aliens.  On August 12, approximately 250 BOP inmates engaged in a peaceful protest by refusing to leave the recreation yard, resulting in the lockdown of the facility.  Rep. Hagan, a CIIC Member, requested a visit to the facility specifically in response to the incident.  Overall, CIIC’s analysis of the incident is that the peaceful resolution of the incident is a credit to staff. The NEOCC incident resulted in no injuries to staff or inmates, it did not pose a threat to the community, and it was relatively quickly resolved. The Warden has taken some proactive measures to address the stated inmate concerns that prompted the protest. However, given the consistency of the inmate complaints spanning over years, CIIC recommends that NEOCC staff develop additional methods to address inmate concerns in order to prevent future incidents.  The report is attached to this email and is also available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

In addition, we will be scheduling staff meetings on Friday mornings throughout late October and November to individually review and improve each area of CIIC’s process.  We invite any and everyone who is interested to participate in these meetings and give input on how we can improve. 

 

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us


10/10/2014 Southeastern Correctional Complex, DRC Community Service Hours


Good afternoon!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of its latest inspection report, on Southeastern Correctional Complex in Lancaster (Fairfield County).  SCC is known nationally for its cutting edge development of green initiatives, and its Warden, Sheri Duffey, was recently selected as the national Warden of the Year by the North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents for her work.  As Warden, she has overseen the administrative consolidation of the former Southeastern Correctional Institution and the Hocking Correctional Facility, which are 45 minutes apart.  In addition, she has worked to reduce violence, despite the younger population on the SCC-Lancaster compound.  There are still challenges to be overcome, particularly in the areas of safety and security and fair treatment.  However, staff are working on to address these problems and are doing so with an eye on positive programming and purposeful activities.  The inspection brief is attached and the full inspection report is available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

CIIC is also publishing a data brief on DRC Community Service (attached).  Key points from the brief include:

 

  • Total community service hours served throughout all DRC prisons decreased 22.9 percent from CY 2009 to 2013.
  • Services provided for local communities accounted for 90.3 percent of all community service hours for CY 2013.
  • The Ohio Reformatory for Women reported the highest total number of community service hours from CY 2009 to 2013; the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility reported the lowest.
  • Female institutions reported the highest rates of community service hours.

 

In addition, we will be working throughout late October and November to individually review and improve each area of CIIC’s process.  We invite any and everyone who is interested to learn more about CIIC’s process and give input on how we can improve!  We want your input!

 

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 

Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us


9/03/2014 Richland Correctional Institution, CIIC News


Good morning!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of its latest inspection report, on Richland Correctional Institution in Mansfield (Richland County).  Overall, the inspection was very positive, with zero areas rated in need of improvement.  At the last inspection in 2011, RICI was struggling with an increase in violence, particularly due to gang activity.  Since that time, particularly with the implementation of the 3 Tier Plan and better classification of inmates, RICI has seen a drastic reduction in violence and a return to its programming roots.  Assaults and fights have decreased significantly, as have uses of force in response.  The facility is considered to be exceptional for access to programs, with a broad range of reentry-based unit programs and educational programs including access to college courses and extensive vocational offerings.  It also has an excellent reentry planning system.  Health and wellbeing indicators were generally acceptable, although there is room for improvement in terms of access to healthcare and health-related programs.  RICI also scored well in fair treatment categories, with both the grievance procedure and segregation perceived as good, and the inmate disciplinary board impressed with its review of evidence.  Staff/inmate interactions were generally reported by inmates to be good, even though the LGBTI focus group reported concerns regarding potential discrimination.  Fiscal accountability was also good, with low turnover and vacancies, and generally positive feedback from correctional officers regarding the workplace environment.  Overall, the facility appears to be performing well at fulfilling its mission as a medium security, program-focused institution, preparing inmates for reentry to society.  The inspection brief is attached to this email and the full report is available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).

 

CIIC News: CIIC staff are devoted to continuous quality improvement.  Our website has been updated to include information on how to apply for an internship with CIIC, as well as to archive the listserv emails.  Big thanks to LIS for all of their work on the CIIC website!

 

In addition, now that we have completed all of our full inspections, we have the rest of the year for follow-up inspections and to review the CIIC process from top to bottom.  We will be scheduling staff meetings on Friday mornings throughout October and November to individually review and improve each area of CIIC’s process.  We welcome the public’s input into our process.  If you have an interest in attending these meetings or otherwise giving input, please respond to this email and we can discuss how best to facilitate that.

 

DRC News: A recent editorial in the Toledo Blade addressed the rising number of incarcerated women.  Check it out here: http://www.toledoblade.com/Featured-Editorial-Home/2014/08/31/Women-in-prison.html

 

Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.

 

Best,

 Joanna E. Saul

Executive Director

Correctional Institution Inspection Committee

www.ciic.state.oh.us

 


RICI Inspection Brief

8/15/2014 Grafton Correctional Complex, NEOCC


Good morning!  We are pleased to announce the release of our latest inspection report, on Grafton Correctional Complex in Lorain County.  Since the last CIIC inspection, GCC took over the former NCCTF, converting it into the Grafton Reintegration Center, and experienced an overhaul in its administration.  Despite these changes, GCC continues to provide a safe and rehabilitative environment for its population.  With the reintegration center, GCC is overall exceptional for rehabilitation and reentry, providing an impressive number of programs and reentry-geared initiatives.  In addition to offering a range of basic academic, mental health, recovery services, and unit programs, GCC offers a number of advanced job training, career-tech, and apprenticeship opportunities.  With the exception of a homicide in December, the facility experiences a very low rate of violent incidents or disturbances. Control of illegal substances is excellent and unit security management is generally good.  Unit conditions were very good in all of the celled units, although conditions in the Level 1 dorm, D2, raised concerns.  Medical services was very good, which is particularly important given the high chronic care population.  Mental health and recovery services were also considered good, with a broad range of programs.
 
Concerns at GCC include higher sanctions than what similar rule violations would have received at other institutions, but the segregation population was very low.  More concerning, staff and inmates both named particular officers who were apparently well-known for inmate harassment – these officers appear to be prevalent at GRC, which is counter to GRC’s rehabilitative mission.   Overall, though, GCC is performing well with plans for additional reentry-based initiatives and continued improvement, particularly at GRC.  The inspection brief is attached and the full inspection report is available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).
 
Correction: We were informed by facility staff that the ORW inmate passive protest of food conditions involved only 100 inmates, which is what we reported.  However, a DRC administrator later confirmed that it was in fact closer to 1,000, as reported in the media.
 
NEOCC: Speaking of passive disturbances, the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center, a federal facility in Youngstown that is privately owned and operated by CCA and which is the only federal facility that CIIC inspects, recently experienced one.  According to CCA staff, approximately 250 inmates went out to recreation around noon on Tuesday and refused to come back in until early in the morning hours of Wednesday.  The facility is currently still on lockdown.  Rep. Hagan went to the facility Wednesday morning and attempted to speak to the inmates, but was not permitted to.  He is reportedly meeting with the Warden today, along with the Youngstown Mayor.  Here is a news article on the disturbance: http://wkbn.com/2014/08/13/mayor-and-hagan-to-investigate-prison-demonstration/  I do not know what was on the list of concerns by the inmates, but I have attached a letter that we received last year that may shed some light on the concerns (the letter is in Spanish).  We were last at the facility in July 2013 and our review was mostly positive, although we did have a concern about staffing changes.  The report from that inspection is also on our website.
 
Death Penalty: The moratorium on executions in Ohio has been extended to January by a federal judge.  Read more here:http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/08/11/Moratorium-on-lethal-injections-in-Ohio-extended.html  In addition, an expert witness for the family of inmate McGuire, whose family is suing the state following the execution of Mr. McGuire, has stated in a report that Mr. McGuire suffered during the execution.  Read more here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/08/12/ohio-execution-dennis-mcguire-suffered-anesthesiologist/13958713/
 
Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.
 
Best,
 
Joanna E. Saul
Executive Director
Correctional Institution Inspection Committee


8/06/2014 Inmate Grievance Procedure and CIIC Meeting


Good morning!  Attached is our most recent publication, which provides key data on the DRC inmate grievance procedure, which CIIC is statutorily required to evaluate.  The following are key findings from the brief:
·         Total grievance paperwork increased 21.5 percent from 2009 to 2013.
·         Institutions housing the highest security inmates had the highest rate of informal complaints.
·         MANCI had the highest total number of grievances in CY 2013, with 673.
 
·         For all grievance dispositions in the DRC in CY 2013, 85.7 percent were denied.
 
·         The most frequently grieved issue in CY 2013 was Health Care, followed by Personal Property.
 
The data brief is also available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).
 
CIIC Meeting: Last Wednesday, CIIC held a meeting to hear an update from DRC Director Mohr regarding Aramark/food services, as well as to hear interested party testimony.  I have attached all written testimony that was submitted, from myself (including the memo that I submitted to CIIC Chair Sen. Smith on Aramark), Aramark, OCSEA, and ACLU.  Director Mohr did not submit written testimony, but my summary is that he is equally concerned regarding the issues.  He announced at the meeting that the DRC has fined Aramark for a second time due to failures to comply with the contract.  Here are a couple news articles regarding the meeting:
 
CIIC received phone calls yesterday reporting that there was another maggot incident at ORW, Ohio’s largest female prison.  It is our understanding that no maggots have been served to inmates; however, the incident prompted approximately 100 inmates to protest by throwing away the food on their trays.
 
Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.
 
Best,
 
Joanna E. Saul
Executive Director
Correctional Institution Inspection Committee


7/28/2014 Northeast Reintegration Center and CIIC Meeting


Good morning!  CIIC has published a new inspection report, on the Northeast Reintegration Center in Cleveland (Cuyahoga County).  NERC is one of three female prisons in Ohio.  NERC is the model prison for rehabilitation in the Ohio adult prison system.  Inmates who come to NERC are required to sign an agreement that they will be engaged in an extensive amount of rehabilitative programming and meaningful activities.  The range of programming available to the inmates, particularly for the small population, is exceptional.  In particular, mental health programming, a critical need for female inmates, is exceptional.  GEDs (and academic certificates in general) earned have increased at NERC in recent years.  As a reintegration center, the entire prison is geared toward reentry, with excellent reentry planning, including a strong accountability system for release plans.  A recent job fair held at NERC was attended by almost every inmate at the facility.  Community connections were particularly impressive: as most of the inmates are from the region, family connections are more easily maintained, and the facility boasts a large volunteer and outside agency presence.
 
Concerns from the inspection include the lack of video documentation of uses of force, issues related to ants and other vermin, encouragement for continued improvement in medical services, inmate reports of favoritism by staff, and issues related to inmate discipline.  Overall, however, the facility truly fulfills the DRC’s rehabilitation mission and out of all of the adult prisons in the state, is clearly preparing all of the inmates in its custody for a successful, seamless reentry to society.  The inspection brief is attached and the full inspection report will be available on the CIIC website tomorrow (www.ciic.state.oh.us).
 
CIIC Meeting: Sen. Smith, CIIC Chair, has called for a CIIC meeting on Wednesday at 1 pm to hear an update from DRC Director Mohr on DRC Food Services concerns, and also to hear interested party testimony regarding DRC food services.  The committee notice is attached.
 
Drone Surveillance: DRC administrators are considering using drones to provide additional surveillance of Ohio prisons, starting with the two in Warren County.  The DRC is accepting public comments through August 9.  Read more here:http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2014/07/officials_mull_using_drones_to.html
  
Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.
 
Best,
 
Joanna E. Saul
Executive Director
Correctional Institution Inspection Committee


7/21/2014 North Central Correctional Complex, Aramark, Drones


Good morning!  CIIC is pleased to announce the publication of its latest inspection report, on North Central Correctional Complex in Marion (Marion County).  NCCC is a minimum/medium security institution. NCCC is a combination of the former North Central Correctional Institution, which transitioned from state to private operation on December 31, 2011, and the former Marion Juvenile Correctional Facility, which transitioned to serving as NCCC’s minimum camp.  The facility is still in its developmental stage, and with high staff turnover, the workforce is relatively inexperienced, which is likely responsible for some of the concerns.  The primary issues coming out of NCCC are an increase in violence (assaults increased significantly) and medical services, which had a high number of backlogs for both Doctor Sick Call and chronic  care.  However, the facility felt better than it did in 2012, as there was a greater level of confidence and assurance among all staff, and inmates generally reported that it was “laidback.”  Thus, while there is certainly room for improvement in most areas, CIIC staff generally believe that the facility is moving in a positive direction.  The inspection brief is attached to this email and the full report is available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).
 
Food Services/Aramark: You may have read some recent news articles regarding reported maggots in prison meals.  As CIIC staff eat at least three separate lunch meals as part of each inspection, trust me – it has not gone unnoticed in this office.  Since the September transition to Aramark, we have noted an increasing number of concerns regarding Aramark and food services in general, and we are considering how best to address the issues.  However, there is also a substantial level of oversight provided by the DRC, which has increased since the maggot issue began.  Read more here:
 
Drone Surveillance: DRC administrators are considering using drones to provide additional surveillance of Ohio prisons, starting with the two in Warren County.  The DRC is accepting public comments through August 9.  Read more here:http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2014/07/officials_mull_using_drones_to.html
 
Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.
 
Best,
 
Joanna E. Saul
Executive Director
Correctional Institution Inspection Committee


6/24/2014 Noble Correctional Institution


Good morning!  CIIC is pleased to announce the release of its latest inspection report, on Noble Correctional Institution in Caldwell (Noble County).  Overall, the inspection was positive. NCI is a medium security institution that, due to its open-dorm structure and remote location, presents a challenging environment for security.  It continues to experience higher rates of violence and gang activity than other medium security institutions.  Its segregation is overcrowded, both from inmate misconduct, as well as from inmates feeling unsafe on the compound.  However, in comparison to years past, the violent activity has decreased.  Health and wellbeing indicators were good across the board.  In terms of fair treatment, the grievance procedure at NCI is considered to be exceptional, with particular regard for the Inspector’s visibility on the compound and staff responsiveness to complaints.  Although the segregation is overcrowded, other concerns were minimal. NCI offers a relatively good range of programs and activities, including a new reintegration dorm, with more planned by the administration.  Staff management was considered good, although interviewed and surveyed officers generally rated morale as low.  Officers and other staff clearly take a lot of pride in the work that they do, which positively impacts the environment. Overall, NCI has come a far way in just a few years, and is continuing to improve.  The inspection brief is attached to this email and the full report is available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).
 
Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.
 
Best,
 
Joanna E. Saul
Executive Director
Correctional Institution Inspection Committee


6/17/2014 DRC Security Threat Groups, Dayton Correctional Institution


Good morning!  CIIC is pleased to announce the release of its latest data brief, on security threat groups (aka prison gangs) in the DRC.  Key points from the data brief include:
·         As of January 2014, 8,171 DRC inmates were identified as STG-affiliated inmates, or 16.2 percent of the total DRC population.
 
·         Total STG-affiliated inmates decreased by 12.9 percent from CY 2012 to 2014.
 
·         Lebanon Correctional Institution houses the highest total number of STG-affiliated inmates.
 
·         Ohio State Penitentiary had the highest percentage of STG-affiliated inmates, with 62.6 percent.
 
·         The highest number of STG-affiliated inmates were sentenced from Cuyahoga County.
 
The data brief is attached and also available on the CIIC website (www.ciic.state.oh.us).  Big thanks to Darin Furderer at CIIC for the brief, especially the county map graphic, as well as to the DRC staff who provided the information.
 
Dayton Correctional Institution: Several news stories have come out recently about Dayton Correctional Institution, including an Inspector General report into mismanaged funds, and the Dayton Daily News’ front page story on increased allegations of sexual misconduct since the facility transitioned to housing females.  Since I am quoted in the article, I also want to echo others’ expressed sentiments that Warden Lisath has always been very responsive regarding inmate complaints sent to this office, and that we were impressed with him when we were at DCI last year.  Please also know that we keep close tabs on all media reports pertaining to the DRC and that I do not read a single article without thinking about how we could improve our process.  Regarding the funds issue, we do not conduct own fiscal audit of each prison, but we do review and include the results of fiscal audits in each inspection report.  Regarding sexual misconduct, I took the step of becoming a certified PREA auditor for the US Dept of Justice – while I will not be auditing DRC/DYS facilities, it provided critical training that I hope to bring to our inspection process.
 
Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.
 
Best,
 
Joanna E. Saul
Executive Director
Correctional Institution Inspection Committee


6/03/2014 DRC Mental Health Services


Good afternoon!  CIIC is releasing a data brief on mental health services in the DRC. Some key stats from the brief:
·         As of December 31, 2013, 9,825 inmates were on the mental health caseload, or 19.4 percent of the total DRC population.
·         Although the total mental health caseload has increased, the rate of inmates on the caseload has remained mostly stable over the past ten years.
·         The Ohio Reformatory for Women housed the highest total number of inmates on the mental health caseload, with 1,054.
·         The three female institutions all had the highest percentage of mental health caseload inmates in comparison to their total population.
 
In regard to mental health and DYS, you may be interested to know that DYS recently settled the US Dept of Justice’s lawsuit against DYS regarding seclusion, and particularly seclusion of mentally ill youth.  You can read the DOJ press release below, as well as the following two news articles on the topic:
 
Thank you for your ongoing interest in and support of corrections oversight in Ohio.
 
Joanna E. Saul
Executive Director
Correctional Institution Inspection Committee
 
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: U.S. Department of Justice <usdoj@public.govdelivery.com>
Date: Wed, May 21, 2014 at 1:50 PM
Subject: U.S. DOJ Civil Rights Division News

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SETTLES LAWSUIT AGAINST STATE OF OHIO TO END UNLAWFUL SECLUSION OF YOUTH IN JUVENILE CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES
WASHINGTON – The United States and private plaintiffs announced today that they have reached an agreement with the state of Ohio, under which the State Department of Youth Services (DYS) will dramatically reduce, and eventually eliminate, its use of seclusion on young people in its custody.  DYS will also ensure that young people in its juvenile facilities receive individualized mental health treatment to prevent and address the conditions and behaviors that led to seclusion.  The order resolves allegations that the state subjects young people with mental health needs in its custody to harmful seclusion and withholds treatment and programming, in violation of their constitutional rights. 
 
 “Overreliance on solitary confinement for young people, particularly those with disabilities, is unsafe and counterproductive,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.  “This agreement will help ensure that incarceration in Ohio's state facilities is humane and that appropriate treatment is provided for young people with mental illness.  The Justice Department will continue to evaluate the use of solitary confinement so that it does not become a new normal for incarcerated juveniles.”
 
“The state of Ohio, the administrators of the Department of Youth Services and their counsel are to be commended for their commitment to reforming Ohio’s juvenile correctional facilities,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division.  “Ohio’s commitments in this agreement will go a long way toward reducing the harm young people are experiencing in the state’s juvenile correctional facilities, especially young people with mental health needs.”  
 
 
To read more, click here.