COLUMBUS (WCMH) – This is the face of a woman whose life was taken in a brutal way. Reagan Tokes’ death has legislators and the Service Employees International Union wanting changes made to the way parolees are watched.
The union that represents parole officers all over the state made five recommendations to legislators in a two-page document. One recommendation suggests eliminating the Chin Stat Formula. SEIU spokesperson Anthony Caldwell said this formula doesn’t work.
“The Chin Stat Formula right now is how you determine how many people, a certain parole officer will supervise, there’s different weights for different classes of offenders,” said Caldwell.
Caldwell said parole officers have large caseloads, some having more than 200 parolees -and of those – 80 may be high-risk parolees and sex offenders.
“We suggest that we hire more parole officers. That the state of Ohio right now is understaffed when it comes to parole officers, and we also think that caseloads for parole officers should never exceed 100,” said Caldwell.
To help fix this, SEIU also suggests no more than 25 percent of a parole officer’s cases may be high risk or sex offenders. Aside from parole officers’ caseloads, the document also suggests giving officers approved overtime for field investigations and monitoring.
Caldwell said too many times officers are denied overtime or if they take it, they face discipline from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate that anyone of our parole officers should have to go out in the community and have to make a decision between watching the clock and keeping our community safe,” said Caldwell.
Lastly SEIU recommends parole officers with less than 12 months of experience should not exceed 60 offenders.