years ago, Staughton Lynd asked his wife to give him a teaspoon,
so he could start tearing down the Ohio supermax prison. Now, after
many smaller and bigger victories, in humanizing the Ohio prison
system, Alice Lynd sends Prisonersolidarity the news of another
week, the director of Ohio's prison system announced the end of
detention" regime for so-called "high-security"
(level 4 and 5) prisoners. Inmates who until now had no prospect
of parole are finally given the chance to be released on parole,
thanks largely to Staughton and Alice Lynd's persistent pressure
and to the oversight of Federal
Judge James Gwin (Wilkinson v. Austin) , who has been
monitoring the situation in Ohio.
Alice's letter, followed by a computer scan of the official memo
documenting the new policy. Please distribute this good news widely
among Ohio prisoners, who may now finally have the chance to be
released on parole.
Parole Rule Rescinded in Ohio!
Alice Lynd, Prisonersolidarity.org
May 18, 2007
Effective immediately, prisoners on Level 5 and Level 4 can be recommended
for release on parole! Attached is a copy of the memo to the Parole
Board from the chairman of the Parole Board, approved by Terry Collins
on May 16, 2007, rescinding the rule precluding release on parole
from Level 4 or Level 5.
When we filed the OSP
class action in January 2001, the no parole rule was one of
the issues in our Complaint. No parole was one of the factors that
led the courts to conclude that imprisonment at OSP is an atypical
and significant hardship. In February 2007, after hearing testimony
by one of the Level 5A longtermers, Judge Gwin made it clear that
he thought it should be the Parole Board (not someone deciding security
classification or length of stay) that decides whether or not to
release an individual on parole.
The no parole rule was one of the issues in the proposed findings
of fact and conclusions of law that we were ready to file in court
on May 21. But Defendants filed a notice in Austin
v. Wilkinson on May 17, 2007 saying they are changing the Parole
-- Letter from Terry Collins, Director of the Ohio Department
of Rehabilitation and Correction --
4:01-cv-00071-JG Document 751-2 Filed 05/17/2007 Page 1 of 1
PAROLE BOARD STAFF
FROM: Cynthia Mausser; Parole Board Chair
RE: Parole Board Hearing Policy 105- PBD-03
DATE: May 16, 2007
to section 5149.02 of the Ohio Revised Code, the Director of the
Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is authorized to make
the Parole Authority. Director Collins has told me of his intention
to change the policy of the Parole Board concerning the procedure
for hearings of inmates in security classification levels 4 and
immediately, Section VI, D, 8(e) on page 9 of Parole Board Hearing
Policy 105-PBD-03 is hereby rescinded. Any inmate classified at
a security level of 4 or 5 who is scheduled to appear for a release
consideration hearing can receive a recommendation for release onto
parole supervision from the institutional hearing panel, subject
to consideration of the merits of the release. However, that recommendation
must be referred to Central Office Board Review for approval by
a majority vote of the Parole Board Members.
change in procedure will be reflected in policy directive 105-PBD-03
once the policy review procedure is completed.
May 16, 2007
Terry Collins, Director
TEAR DOWN THE WALL
Alice Lynd enters the prison cell exhibit at the Youngstown
Prison Forum on June 10, 2006.
Photo: Daniel Sturm, Prisonersolidarity.org