OH Prisons Chief, Prosecutor Spar Over Rapist’s Release


Ohio’s top prison official says the state parole board made a mistake when it released an inmate now accused of raping a woman at a Cincinnati bridge, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer. Terry Collins, director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said the release of rape suspect Fernando Lee North will lead to changes in the way the parole board considers inmates for release. Collins wrote to Gov. Bob Taft after concluding a review on why North was freed from prison early despite a parole violation that could have kept him locked up for years. “I am disturbed and totally dissatisfied,” Collins said in his letter.

The report didn’t satisfy Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, who said the problem is not the procedural mistakes that Collins described, such as the lack of a post-release “placement plan” for North. “His placement plan should have been Lucasville for another 20 years,” Deters said, referring to the maximum security prison in Lucasville, Ohio. “Fernando North should not have been out of prison. North, 31, is accused of a three-day crime spree that ended last month with the abduction and rape of a 19-year-old woman at the bridge. Collins assured Taft that no inmate would be released without a placement plan in the future.

Link: http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061208/NEWS01/612080361

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