The Director of the Department of Ohio Rehabilitation and Corrections presented his ‘State of the Agency’ address at Muskingum University Wednesday.
Noble County Correctional Institution Warden Tim Buchanan began by introducing members of the ‘Restored Citizens Network’ and discussing successful offender re-entry.
Director Gary Mohr followed with his address. Mohr spoke with WHIZ before his speech about the dramatic increase in the number of prisoners in the state.
“There were 291 women incarcerated the day I started, July 1, 1974,” said Mohr. “Today we’re at 4,300 and if you think about that, you think about the vast growth of this and then you think about FBI Crime Index, our violent crime has not gone up in that time. If we were to look at this whole approach in the last 42 years from an academic standpoint and an analytical standpoint, the question is ‘would we have done what we have done to get here’. ”
Mohr said he hopes to create an environment for non-violent offenders to prepare to re-join their communities and he’s proud to say some institutions are already on their way to making it a reality in Ohio.
“So we started things called ‘reintegration units’,” said Mohr. “We have now have 12 of these all over Ohio where inmates are working eight to 10 hours a day in 11 pathways. They have to do community service back to the community and we’re working and now their employment skills can be put on Ohio Means Jobs so we can help get them jobs. ”
Mohr made his way to Marietta to join Governor John Kasich for the ‘State of the State’ address Wednesday evening.