Thousands of Ohio ex-offenders could be released from state supervision and more than 200 current inmates might get out of prison early because of a sentencing glitch, reports the Columbus Dispatch. Many of the affected current and former inmates committed felonies — and some are sex offenders.
Ohio prisons director Terry Collins said rulings by the Ohio Supreme Court are forcing the state to review more than 14,000 cases. The glitch affects only offenders sentenced after the state’s 1996 “truth-in-sentencing law” took effect. “If the sentencing order didn’t say they had mandatory supervision and the number of years, the order was void,” Collins said. The ruling directly affects three groups: 14,816 former prisoners sentenced to “post-release control” (the post-1996 successor to parole); more than 208 inmates sent back to prison for violating post-release control rules, and an undetermined number of inmates currently in prison. Collins didn’t know the number of cases affected, or how many have sentencing problems. The state victim-services department is telling crime victims and family members that offenders who they thought were under state supervision might not be supervised for much longer.