Coronavirus death toll surpasses 100 in Ohio prisons

BY: - September 22, 2020

More than 100 inmates and workers in Ohio’s prison system have died from COVID-19, state data shows. Five prison workers (three corrections officers and two nurses) and 96 inmates have died from the disease that has clobbered the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction since late March when it was first detected in the system. […]

Ohio prisons chief walks back claim that 96% of prison COVID-19 cases were asymptomatic

BY: - June 17, 2020

The state prisons chief Tuesday walked back an apocryphal claim she has repeated that 96% of the thousands of COVID-19 cases at two prisons came from asymptomatic inmates.  While the data are fluid on such a new disease, the CDC’s “best estimate” for modelers and public health officials is that about 35% of COVID-19 infections […]

New COVID-19 cases slow down over last month in Ohio

BY: - June 9, 2020

The rate of new COVID-19 cases in Ohio has trickled downward since early May, an analysis of state data shows. The 10-day average of new cases peaked on May 10 (excluding a surge largely attributable to mass testing in state prisons) at roughly 640. Today that figure is down to an average of 456 new […]

Ohio prisons chief says inmates getting ‘excellent’ health care; 63 dead, thousands infected

BY: - May 21, 2020

Ohio has decreased its prison population by less than 4% while some institutions have been virtually overrun by COVID-19. Four prison workers and 63 inmates have died since prison officials first detected the new coronavirus March 29. More than 4,500 inmates have tested positive, though officials believe this to be a massive undercount since they […]

Despite staggering case counts and 50 deaths, prisons halt mass COVID-19 testing

BY: - May 12, 2020

Two prisons in Ohio have become two of the worst COVID-19 hot spots in the nation. The state, meanwhile, has halted the mass testing that detected the virus in more than 75% of the inmates in two Ohio prisons.  At Belmont Correctional Institution, which looks to be the newest prison crushed by the spread of […]

31 dead, thousands infected in Ohio prisons; counts climb at five facilities

BY: - April 30, 2020

The outbreaks in Ohio’s prisons worsened Wednesday as COVID-19 illnesses turned to deaths in two facilities and a newer outbreak snowballed in another. Two prison workers and 29 inmates have died since officials detected the new coronavirus that causes the disease in the prison system March 29. A spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation […]

Ohio’s epidemic might be accelerating. Nursing homes and prisons are getting slammed

BY: - April 20, 2020

Ohio’s curve might be un-flattening. State health officials are detecting COVID-19 cases at an increasing pace, as Gov. Mike DeWine is set to begin a phased-in reopening of the economy beginning May 1. After a slow start in early April, officials have reported increasing amounts of new cases for the last six days in a […]


The fast way for Gov. DeWine to save lives in Ohio prisons

BY: - April 20, 2020

Gov. Mike DeWine has made Ohio a national leader in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, saving countless lives in the process. With the virus spiking in some Ohio prisons, DeWine can save countless more lives by using a little-known tool: the reprieve power. Ohio’s prisons contain nearly 50,000 inmates and are visited daily by thousands […]

Union leader accuses top prison official of coronavirus ‘negligence’

BY: - April 17, 2020

The president of a public workers union lambasted “flat out ineffective” leadership at Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. In a letter to union members, Ohio Civil Servant Employees Association President Chris Mabe accused ODRC Director Annette Chambers-Smith of “negligence” in Ohio prisons. Since officials detected the virus inside state prisons March 29, the outbreaks […]

Video shows crowded prison; inmates and families warn social distancing not possible

BY: - April 10, 2020

As Ohio’s government orders businesses closed and residents inside for their own safety, state prisons facing spiraling outbreaks remain crowded and cramped, videos and interviews show. At Marion Correctional Institution, which houses 2,500 inmates but was built for about 1,650, 55 prison employees have tested positive for the virus as of Sunday, one of whom […]

Ohio correctional officer dies from coronavirus; 19 prisoners and 53 staff test positive

BY: - April 9, 2020

Gov. Mike DeWine announced Wednesday a correctional officer died of COVID-19 as more employees and inmates test positive for the disease. John Dawson, 55, an officer at Marion Correctional Institution since 1996, died due to the disease caused by the new coronavirus. DeWine said Dawson worked at the control center handing out equipment to staff […]

‘We’re not essential, we’re sacrificial.’ Prisoners and prison workers frightened as outbreak worsens

BY: - April 8, 2020

In the Toledo Correctional Institution, Rufus Bowman keeps his two rescue inhalers and hand sanitizer close. He has severe, chronic asthma, leaving him especially vulnerable to COVID-19. As the new coronavirus that causes the disease continues its steady penetration of Ohio’s prisons, Bowman’s wife is terrified. “This is a death sentence to these people,” said […]