Ohio DRC director proposes alternative to prison for some felony charges

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gary Mohr’s goal is to lower the prison population.

“This has been my life, my professional life is this budget,” said Mohr, the director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.

There were 8,300 Ohioans incarcerated when he began working for the prison system back in the 70s. Today that number is more than 50,000.

Director Mohr does not believe his department is doing the right thing. So he wants to introduce a program called T-CAP, or Targeting Community Alternatives to Prison.

It would help offenders who are sentenced to 12 months or less in prison for non-violent, non-sexually oriented, non-mandatory F-5 offenses by not sending them to prison.

In 2016, around 8,300 people out of 20,000 were ordered to serve one year or less in an Ohio prison.

Mohr said the prisons are so overcrowded that you cannot separate violent criminals from the non-violent ones.

Mohr says drug possession is the number one reason Ohioans come to prison and most are non-violent.

He said T-CAP aims to help them.

It would give $60 million to local communities across Ohio. That money would provide them with resources to help rehabilitate and monitor the low-level, non-violent offenders.

Supervision tools and programs covered by the T-CAP grant include:

• Supervision services

• Local incarceration, including CBCF placements

• Electronic monitoring

• Substance use monitoring and treatment

• Additional programming and resources

“This is a great opportunity to treat people more effectively, low cost, keep our communities safer, and quite frankly give people a chance to smile.”

Director Mohr added that this program would save the state money in the long run. He said once the prison population lowers, he can decrease the amount of people that work for the prison system.

To read more about his proposal, click here: Detailed TCAP Fact Sheet

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