Almost before the ink was dry on Ohio's sale of a state prison to a private buyer, prisons director Gary Mohr was working on an aggressive reorganization and legislative agenda that, if accomplished, would transform the system, says the Columbus Dispatch. Under a sale announced last week, the state will have three private prisons instead of two.
Mohr is focusing on shaping a safer, more cost-effective, less-crowded system that better prepares inmates leaving prison to adjust to the world outside. His reorganization plan includes “reintegration prisons” for those serving shorter sentences before their release; general-population prisons where inmates will concentrate on education, training, and community re-entry, and control prisons for the truly bad guys. The legislative agenda includes: expanding “earned credit” for all inmates, not just new ones; increasing “transitional control,” which allows inmates to be transferred to community residential facilities in the last six months of their sentence; reducing “collateral sanctions,” such as the loss of a driver's license, that prevent ex-offenders from effectively re-entering society, and allowing sentence reductions for inmates employed in reintegration prisons.