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770 West Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43222
The Bureau of Community Sanctions distributes and monitors grant and contractual funds provided to local jurisdictions and private vendors to establish community sanctions and residential services for adult offenders that are re-integrating into the community or who, otherwise, would be incarcerated in local jails or state prisons. Programs funded by the Bureau include Halfway Houses, Community-Based Correctional Facilities, Community Residential Centers, Permanent Supportive Housing, and Community Corrections Act grant programs including Intensive Supervision Probation, Standard Probation, Prosecutorial Diversion, Non-Supervisory Treatment Programs, Electronic Monitoring, and Community Work Service. Additionally, the Bureau has provided Probation Improvement Grants, Probation Incentive Grants, and SMART Ohio Grants in order to alleviate voids in services. The funds and contracts managed by the Bureau are addressed in Ohio Revised Code Sections 2301.51, and Ohio Administrative Codes 5120:1-3-01 and 5120:1-5-06.
The Bureau was established by Executive Order in 1976 and was updated with a subsequent Executive Order in 1992. The Bureau’s mission is to develop and enhance community corrections programs, in partnership with state, local and private agencies, for sanctioning and treating adult offenders in the community. The Bureau strives to ensure funds are utilized effectively through evidence based practices and supervision techniques proven to provide offenders with the oversight and skills necessary to reduce the likelihood that they will engage in further future criminal behavior.
The Bureau of Community Sanctions, in partnership with state, local and private/non-profit agencies, develops and enhances community corrections programs utilized by local courts and the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction for sanctioning and treating offenders in the community. The Bureau includes grant, placement, auditing, and support staff members located throughout the state who work directly with community providers to place and serve offenders, monitor expenditures and utilization rates, provide training, ensure compliance with standards, and provide coaching and technical assistance. The Bureau also oversees the Transitional Control program and Electronic Monitoring program for offenders who violate their terms of supervision.
The Bureau is responsible for:
Halfway houses are community residential programs providing supervision and treatment services for offenders released from state prisons, referred by Courts of Common Pleas, or sanctioned because of a violation of conditions of supervision. Halfway houses are a vital component of Ohio’s community justice continuum providing services such as cognitive behavioral therapy, drug and alcohol treatment, electronic monitoring, job placement, educational programs, and specialized programs for sex offenders and mentally ill offenders.
In February 2007, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) and the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) in Ohio announced a new supportive housing pilot, Returning Home-Ohio. This initiative is aimed at preventing entry into the homeless services system and reducing recidivism for individuals returning to Ohio’s communities from state prisons. ODRC has invested over $5 million which has been used for rental subsidies, tenant assistance, supportive services, program evaluation, and project management.
The target population includes offenders released from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections who have histories of chronic homelessness or are at-risk of homelessness upon release. Priority is given to offenders who are likely to require supportive services in order to maintain housing. This includes, but is not limited to, offenders who have severe mental illnesses, addictions, and/or development disabilities.
Transitional Control is a prison program designed to facilitate an offender's transition back in to the community from prison. It benefits the offender and the community by providing offenders the opportunity for a more successful transition from prison while residing in a monitored environment. Inmates who are deemed eligible by the Ohio Parole Board may participate in the Transitional Control program during the final 180 days prior to their release from prison. Depending on sentence length, some inmates may require approval from the applicable sentencing judge prior to transfer. Participants in the Transitional Control program must be willing to attend and participate in programming which targets their identified individual needs. If the inmate is discovered to be inappropriate or unable to fully participate in the program, he or she can be administratively returned to prison. Transitional Control participants reside in DRC contract Halfway Houses and are monitored very closely. If a Transitional Control offender has demonstrated an adequate adjustment and is actively participating in appropriate programming, they may be stepped down to electronic monitoring in an appropriate home placement.
A housing initiative launched by the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction in January 2004. Community Residential Centers provide housing, some limited monitoring of residents, case management and community referrals for services. The Program serves offenders with no viable home placement options who are stabilized and have moderate to low programming needs that can be met in the community.
Ohio Community Correction Act (CCA) jail and prison diversion programs are funded by the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, through the Bureau of Community Sanctions. These programs include Intensive Supervision Probation, Standard Probation, Prosecutorial Diversion, Non-Supervisory Treatment Programs, Electronic Monitoring, and Community Work Service. CCA programs are partnerships between the State of Ohio and the Local Community Correction Planning Boards. Each CCA program is under the control of the Local Corrections Planning Board and administered by either the county or city officials. Each Planning Board is comprised of local officials representing all areas of the criminal justice system within the county. CCA non-residential programs allow local courts to sanction certain offenders in the community saving scarce prison and jail beds for violent offenders.
Community Based Correctional Facilities (CBCFs) are secure residential programs that provide comprehensive programming for offenders on felony probation. CBCFs provide a wide range of programming addressing offender needs such as cognitive behavioral therapy, chemical dependency, education, employment, and family relationships. CBCFs are governed by a facility governing board and advised by a judicial advisory board.
The Clifford Skeen Award is presented annually to residential and non-residential programs in recognition of excellence in community corrections. The Clifford Skeen Award is a part of former Governor and former U.S. Senator Voinovich’s commitment to enhancing the quality of community corrections programs in Ohio. The award, first presented in 1993, is given in honor of the late eight-term Ohio legislator who sponsored Ohio’s Community Correction Act.
2014 recipients of the Clifford Skeen Award:
The Corrections Training Academy houses the Community Corrections Training Institute (CCTI), which provides training opportunities for community correction program staff statewide.