- Creates Office of Small Business Relief
- Gets federal approval to waive SNAP administrative verification
- A total of 141 inmates are under consideration for release
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has recommended cases of 26 prisoners to the parole board for early release as part of measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic in the state’s correctional facilities.
“We are asking judges and prosecutors associated with these cases to waive the 60 days’ notice so that they can take these cases directly to the parole board. The parole board is prepared to meet start meeting on Friday (04/10/2020) to address these matters,” Governor Mike DeWine said.
“If the parole board recommends that a sentence be commuted, they can also recommend additional conditions on the release of the inmate. As governor, I can accept and/or add conditions. If the conditions are violated, they’ll serve their remaining sentence.”
“In these 26 cases, it is a statutory requirement that the parole board to consider and make a recommendation on each of these cases. In those cases where there are specific victims, those victims will receive notice and have the opportunity for their voices to be heard.”
He said that “Finding inmates to release from prisons to create more room for social distancing isn’t easy. We have around 49,000 people in our prisons today, and they’re there for a reason.”
Last week Governor DeWine asked judges to consider the early release of 38 select offenders 23 pregnant or post-partum women and 15 inmates ages 60 and up who are already approaching release within 120 days.
According to the Governor, “We must do all we can to protect prison staff. They can’t work from home. We need them, we appreciate them, and we must give them the safest work environment we can. We also must protect inmates. And we must protect the public from those who may cause them harm.”
“Prisons pose a unique issue in this pandemic. Social distancing in the general population is helping us Flatten the Curve – but for prison inmates and staff, social distancing becomes much more challenging.”
Also, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Director Annette Chambers-Smith recommended to the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee (CIIC) that certain inmates scheduled to be released in the next 90 days be released sooner to allow for increased social distancing between prison staff and inmates, pursuant to Ohio’s overcrowding emergency statute (ORC 2967.18).
On the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, Governor DeWine said “All SNAP-eligible households will soon start to pick up a pre-packaged box of food at their local foodbank. Ohio obtained federal approval to waive administrative verifications normally required at food banks, to streamline the process and limit person-to-person contact.”
“Our Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, ODJFS, has announced that those who did not already receive the maximum month allotment for their household size in March will be issued an additional payment beginning this week.”
“Ohioans enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will soon receive additional support to help them during the pandemic.”
The Ohio Liquor Control Commission passed an emergency rule to allow establishments with an existing on-premises liquor permit to sell and deliver alcohol, including high-proof liquor in limited quantity, for off-premises consumption.
“Under the rule, patrons can purchase two, prepackaged drinks per meal. All drinks must be closed and remain closed during transport as per open container law,” said Governor DeWine.
Also Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced the creation of the Office of Small Business Relief to identify ways to provide support to Ohio’s small businesses. This office will be housed within Ohio Development.