The article discusses the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s grants to counties’ probation departments to incentivize keeping offenders from returning to prison.  Probation departments must meet certain criteria in order to keep the grant money, all focused on reducing the number of probation violators from returning to prison.  The article, focusing on Licking County, identifies the following objectives for the county:

  1. to reduce the number of technical probation violators committed to prison from the Licking County Common Pleas Court by 70 percent,
  2. to increase the number of offenders who successfully complete probation supervision by 12 percent,
  3. to decrease the number of probation revocation hearings by 25 percent, and
  4. to decrease the number of offenders sentenced for probation violations from Licking County Municipal Court by 41 percent.

Critics of the program say that the grants bribe probation officials to not send probation violators to prison.

This program is similar to the Ohio Department of Youth Services’ program, Targeted RECLAIM, which has for several years provided a pot of money to the counties that send the most youth to juvenile facilities to incentivize keeping the youth in community-based alternatives.  The program has had significant success, as the DYS population has dropped from around 2,000 to almost 500 in recent years.

Read more about the DRC program here.

Departments given incentive to keep probation violators out of prison

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