Program Keeps Low-Level Offenders in Community, Not Prisons

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The state has launched a program to allow low-level felony offenders to remain in their communities under supervision without going to prison.

The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction announced Wednesday that Clinton County in southwestern Ohio is the program’s first recipient of a $200,000 grant.

At issue are efforts ensure public safety while reducing the number of people sent to prison, especially for low-level crimes.

Ohio has just under 51,000 inmates, or just below the all-time record of 51,273 in 2008.

The grant will pay for supervision services, incarceration in local detention centers, electronic monitoring, substance use monitoring and treatment and other services.

The program is aimed at people convicted of crimes such as drug possession or theft. People convicted of violent crimes or sex offenses aren’t eligible.