COLUMBUS—State Reps. Erica C. Crawley (D-Columbus) and Jeff Crossman (D-Parma) today issued the following statement after Gov. Mike DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) will notify the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee (CIIC) of an overcrowding emergency and the need for early releases or sentence reductions throughout state correctional facilities during the COVID-19 crisis.
“As a member of CIIC and someone who has been advocating for the release of low-level, non-violent offenders, especially those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19, I look forward to working with the other CIIC members to review these cases expeditiously,” said Crawley. “It is our responsibility to make sure the health and safety of all Ohioans is a priority and this includes those in our state correctional facilities.”
“I urge our chairman of the CIIC to convene a meeting as soon as possible so we can take the action necessary to preserve the safety for all concerned,” said Crossman. “There are several inmates and employees that have already tested positive for this virus and we need to do everything we can to ensure everyone’s safety. We can find a way to meet promptly and safely to get this important business accomplished.”
COVID-19 can spread quickly in confined spaces such as prisons. Certain inmates that have release dates within the next 90 days are being considered for early release.