Ohio’s prison population is expected to grow from about 50,500 now to more than 51,000 next June, reported the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Current statewide prison capacity is about 38,500. Gary Mohr, the director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said an increase in convictions for drug crimes, especially heroin, have contributed to the rise in prisoners.
The number of people in Ohio prisons temporarily dipped after a new sentencing reform law took effect in 2011. But Mohr said some aspects of that law, which was Senate Bill 86, haven’t worked – such as risk-reduction sentencing, which allows the release of certain prisoners who complete treatment and programming while incarcerated.
While about 50,000 people have been sentenced to prison in the state since the new law took effect, Mohr said, risk-reduction sentencing has been used in less than 400 cases.
“There’s something wrong with it,” Mohr said. “It’s wrong or we haven’t communicated it well enough (to judges).”
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