4545 Fisher Road, Suite D, Columbus, OH 43228
The Department's Responsibilities and Structure
All adults convicted of felonies for which the statutory minimum is at least six months come into the state's prison system, which is under the supervision of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
Many convicted felons are not, however, sent to prison. Instead, they are supervised in the community through probation or other community corrections alternatives.
Convicted felons who have served a specific amount of time in prison can be, if eligible, placed back into the community through a system called Parole. Parole is a period of supervision prior to full release from the state's correctional system. This function, too, belongs to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction was established under House Bill 494. Its responsibilities are defined in Ohio Revised Code 5120.
Final responsibility for operation of the Department rests with the Governor who appoints the Director. The Department's Director serves at the pleasure of the Governor. The Director has full power and authority in the supervision and control of the Department's affairs and is its chief administrative officer.
For more information or to reach Director Chambers-Smith, please contact Melissa Adkins (Executive Assistant) via email or at 614-752-1153.
Director Chambers-Smith began her career with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation Correction in 1993 working in the records office and secretarial positions. She went on to hold numerous positions including Inspector of Institutional Services, Assistant Chief Inspector, Deputy Warden, Warden, and Chief of the Bureau of Medical Services. In that capacity she was responsible for the quality and provision of health care for more than 51,000 inmates across Ohio’s prison system while managing an operating budget of $240 million.
In addition to her role as Chief, Director Chambers-Smith was also the Managing Officer (Warden) of the Corrections Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. The medical center houses a population comprised of all security levels and both males and females who are some of the state’s most acutely ill offenders. In her last position with DRC, Director Chambers-Smith served as the Deputy Director of the Office of Administration, where she was responsible for overseeing a budget of $1.5 billion. Within that role, Director Chambers-Smith also managed procurement, the Bureau of Budget Planning and Analysis, Ohio Penal Industries, the Bureau of Construction Activation Maintenance and Sustainability, the Division of Business Administration, the Bureau of Information and Technology Services and the Office of Enterprise Development. Director Chambers-Smith then worked in private industry - joining JPay in 2014 as Vice President of Operations; she was promoted to Chief Operating Officer that same year and left in 2019 as the General Manager.
Governor Mike DeWine appointed Annette M. Chambers-Smith as the very first female Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction in January 2019. During her time as Director, she has implemented significant reforms to help the agency meet its critical mission of reducing recidivism and keeping Ohio communities safe. She has established the agency core values: 1) Take care of our staff; they will transform our offenders; 2) One team, one purpose; 3) Civility towards all; and 4) Hope is job one. In addition, she has established normalcy units within the facilities – environments that strive to prepare today’s incarcerated adults to be tomorrow’s neighbors.
Director Chambers-Smith was a National Merit Scholar and attended Wilberforce University where she graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management. In 1997, Ohio Governor George V. Voinovich recognized her for “exemplary efforts in helping state government perform more efficiently and effectively.” Director Chambers-Smith was honored with the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s Gold Star Award in 1997, 1998 and 2002. In 2010 she received a mark of distinction from the American Correctional Association when she was named the Best in the Business. More recently, Director Chambers-Smith received Director Mohr’s Impact Award in 2011 and twice in 2014. In 2019 she was inducted as a lifetime member of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice and has been named a recipient of the 2020 Jonathan Jasper Wright Award for leadership at the regional and state level in the area of criminal justice.