Ohio Correctional System Master Plan
During the 1980-90 timeframe when many states were addressing the challenges of a rapidly expanding prison population, Ohio invested in new facilities that were largely designed for single occupancy cells and with program and support spaces to meet the needs of the population. As the prison population continued to increase due to sentencing guidelines and the “war on drugs”, Ohio continued to expand with predominantly dormitory-based prisons. In late 2014, the State was operating at 137% of capacity and did not have adequate space to meet the rehabilitation goals of the system.
The comprehensive master plan was undertaken to provide a basis for meeting eight “Vision Goals” articulated by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. The key recommendations of the study included:
• Reassignment of over 8,000 inmates with sentences of 12 months or less to community corrections.
• Development of seven 100-160-bed “healing centers” for the mentally ill population.
• Expansion of program and housing facilities and programs for women, including a new mothers and babies village.
• Expansion of 180 acute and sub-acute hospital beds at the central prison medical complex.
• Sub-division of dormitory housing units into smaller living clusters with cubicles.
• Creation of 2,200-bed new geriatric and general custody prison on the site of an decommissioned facility with special emphasis on the needs of elderly inmates.
• Expansion of program space in all restrictive housing units.