As of this week, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said there were 44,027 inmates in Ohio prisons. That’s a drop of over 10 percent from the start of the pandemic and the lowest level in 15 years.Gary Daniels with the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio said it’s largely because courts aren’t sending people to prison and five jails can’t because of COVID rates in their communities.“It begs the question of whether this is sustainable or whether the prison population is going to just right back up, and be just as overcrowded as it was before COVID-19,” Daniels said. “And my suspicion is that is true.”
The ACLU has argued for the release of thousands of inmates and changes in sentencing laws.
The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction has no number to provide on how many inmates have been freed through compassionate or judicial release.