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Ohio Prisoners' Reflections on Returning Home

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Document date: January 10, 2006
Released online: January 10, 2006

The nonpartisan Urban Institute publishes studies, reports, and books on timely topics worthy of public consideration. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders.

Note: This report is available in its entirety in the Portable Document Format (PDF).

The text below is a portion of the complete document.


The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction released 28,177 individuals from prisons across the state in 2004,1 nearly six times the number of prisoners released in 1980.2 Ohio has the seventh largest prison population in the country,3 and 22 percent of released prisoners return to Cuyahoga County, with 79 percent of those returning to Cleveland.4 The sheer number of prisoners being released annually, along with a growing appreciation for the substantial challenges that ex-prisoners face as they reenter society and the fiscal and social consequences of unsuccessful reintegration, has brought prisoner reentry—both in Ohio and nationwide—to the forefront of the public agenda.

To help inform the next generation of reentry policy and practice, the Urban Institute launched Returning Home: Understanding the Challenges of Prisoner Reentry, a multistate research project in Maryland, Illinois, Ohio, and Texas. The purpose of Returning Home is to develop a deeper understanding of the reentry experiences of returning prisoners, their families, and their communities. This research project involves interviews with male prisoners before and after their release from state correctional facilities, focus groups with residents in neighborhoods to which many prisoners return, and interviews with reentry policymakers and practitioners. State laws and policies are also reviewed to provide overall policy context.

Notes from this section of the report

1 Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. "July 2005 Facts." Columbus, OH: Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, 2005.

2 This statistic is based on a Bureau of Justice Statistics estimate that 630,000 prisoners were released from federal and state prisoners in 2002. Paige M. Harrison and Jennifer C. Karberg. "Prison and Jail Prisoners at Midyear 2002." Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, 2003.

3 Paige M. Harrison and Allen J. Beck. "Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2004." Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, 2005.

4 Nancy G. La Vigne and Gillian L. Thompson with Christy Visher, Vera Kachnowski, and Jeremy Travis. "A Portrait of Prisoner Reentry in Ohio." Washington, DC: Urban Institute, 2003.

Note: This report is available in its entirety in the Portable Document Format (PDF).



Topics/Tags: | Crime/Justice | Employment


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