“Dramatic” Ohio Prison Trend: More Rural White Women Behind Bars


Ohio prisons are filling up with white women, many from rural areas, a surge that the Cleveland Plain Dealer says has shocked researchers and experts. Whites made up 80 percent of the female felons sentenced to prison between June 30, 2012, and July 1 of this year. In fiscal year 2003, white women sentenced to prison made up 55 percent of females in prison. In 1998, they made up 43 percent. “It’s a major shift,” said Steve Van Dine, chief of the bureau of research for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. “It’s rather dramatic.” Former prosecutor Mike Huff of Athens County said, “I tend to believe that judges in the more rural counties tend to sentence people more harshly. In rural counties, it is a big deal when someone gets caught making methamphetamine or selling drugs.”

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