Gov. Mike DeWine is recommending 38 Ohio prisoners for early release to minimize the potential spread of the coronavirus due to overcrowding.
“These are not violent offenders, people who are sex offenders, domestic abusers or murderers,” DeWine said Friday during his daily briefing. “These individuals seem to make sense to release early.”
The prisoners recommended for release fall into two groups, DeWine said. Twenty-three are women who are either pregnant or who had a child in prison. The other 15 are men and women age 60 or over within 60 days of their planned release. None have records of major infractions while incarcerated nor warrants for their arrest in another state.
Ohio currently has a total prison population of 48,991.
The recommendations for release will be sent beginning Friday via letter to judges in counties where the 38 prisoners are currently located. Judges will be left to determine themselves whether to schedule a hearing or are appropriate to be released early.
“The normal notification to victims, prosecutors will apply to those hearings that the judges will conduct,” DeWine said.
Ohio had a total of 91 deaths and 3,312 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Friday, according to Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton. Of those cases, 895 were hospitalized and 288 were in intensive care.
As of Thursday, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections reported no cases of coronavirus among inmates. However, the Marion Correctional Institution remains under quarantine after one staff member tested positive for COVID-19.