Ohio Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Governor Mike Dewine

Due to the frequency and severity of violence against incarcerated people by prison and jail staff, OPJL proposes that corrections staff be held to the same standard that police are being held to all over the country. Recent events, such as the murder of Michael McDaniel and the recent assault on an incarcerated person by a CO in the Hamilton County Justice Center, indicate that violence against incarcerated people by corrections staff is widespread and severe. Because incarcerated people are so isolated from their families and the outside world and news of staff violence rarely makes it out of facilities or into the news, we must find ways to prevent the violence and hold corrections staff accountable.

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To: Ohio Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Governor Mike Dewine
From: [Your Name]

OPJL asks you to support our campaign for body cameras on all corrections staff while interacting with incarcerated people. Today the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections began piloting the use of body-worn cameras at Ohio State Penitentiary and Chillicothe Correctional Facility. We believe that this program should also begin immediately at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (Lucasville) and the Correctional Reception Center where Michael McDaniel was killed, because of the particularly high level of violence at those facilities.

Body cameras can mitigate illegal shakedowns, verbal and physical retaliatory attacks and threats, abuse of power, false conduct reports, illegal supervision, or refusal of care.

Further proposals include:

1. That conduct and disciplinary reports of corrections staff be accessible within 72 hours of their request.

2. That body cameras be turned on and left on upon entry of the facility work areas including but not limited to: recreation areas, cafeterias, bathrooms, housing units, classrooms, and staff posts.

3. All extractions and shakedowns must follow with a two-way report from the incarcerated person and the officer performing the shakedown for use at disciplinary hearings, and available to the incarcerated person.

4. An integrity unit compiled of directly impacted people to assist in the pilot program to ensure that the body cameras are used to protect the residents of the facilities.

OPJL applauds the new body camera pilot program, but recognizes that there is far more work to be done to ensure that the body cameras are truly keeping incarcerated people safe and prison staff accountable. Please sign and share this petition to demand safer conditions for incarcerated Ohioans.