Ohio Offender Research Connection

This web page is provided as a service to those interested in research and evaluation about Ohio offenders. The page includes research on many populations of Ohio offenders, including prisoners, parolees, probationers, youthful offenders, and other offender groupings. Our goal is to provide a useful service to those involved in all arenas of the criminal justice profession, including treatment, security, policy, and research. Please click on the link below to view research pertaining to that topic.

If you are interested in adding your research on Ohio offenders to our website, please e-mail a copy of the research or the internet link to the research to Stephanie Eich.


Evaluation of the Achieving Baby Care Success Nursery Program(2006)

Tina Mawhorr, Ph.D. and Kelly Ward, M.A., M.L.S.

In 2001, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) opened the Achieving Baby Care Success (ABCS) program at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville, Ohio. This paper provides a description of the DRC's Achieving Baby Care Success program and a description of all pregnant women incarcerated with the Department who had due dates between May 11, 2001 and December 31, 2004. This paper provides the results of a process evaluation of the nursery program and gives recommendations to improve program integrity in preparation for an outcomes evaluation.

Ohio RSAT Outcome Evaluation Summary Report (2002)

Jennifer A. Pealer, M.A., Edward J. Latessa, Ph.D., and Melissa Winesburg, M.S.
RSAT Summary

This evaluation examines the effectiveness of three distinct Residential Substance Abuse Treatment programs. These programs combine the therapeutic community treatment approach with cognitive-behavioral interventions. While the findings are mixed and complex, those who receive this treatment are less likely to be incarcerated after completing the program compared to those who did not participate in the treatment. However, the differences in these outcomes are statistically significant for only one of the three programs.

Summary of The Development Of Coping Strategies In Female Inmates With Life Sentences (2005)

Sherri Roscher

In this study, ten female inmates serving life sentences at the Ohio Reformatory for Women were interviewed. Interview topics included the ways in which female lifers cope with the stressors of prison life, how they came to terms with their life sentences, and what types of programs would be most effective in helping them adjust to their sentence. Among the findings was that inmates who used more coping strategies had a more positive self-concept which aided their prison adjustment.

The Relationship of Prisoners, Poverty Measures, and Social Welfare Allocations in Ohio (2005)

reprinted with permission from Rudolph Alexander, Jr. 
The Social Policy Journal, 4:2, pp.69-82, © 2005, Haworth Press, Inc.

Prisoners are counted in the county in which they are incarcerated, according to the U. S. Census Bureau’s guidelines. This fact has increasingly been the subject of academic interest because census data are used for redistricting and for allocation of federal and state funds based on population and poverty criteria. Using canonical correlation analyses and a canonical loading of at least .30 meaningful, this study found that lower numbers of prisoners, no prisons in a county, higher ruralness, fewer percentages of persons below poverty, and higher percentages of homes receiving social security insurance are associated with lower allocations for case management, lower allocations for health and human services, and lower allocations for criminal justice. Taking into account the cross loadings, having a prison, higher ruralness, and fewer percentages of people below poverty line remain significant. The author discusses the policy implications of these findings.

Just the Facts: A Descriptive Analysis of Inmate Attitudes Toward Capital Punishment (2003)

Norma Wilcox and Tracey Steele, The Prison Journal, 83(4), pp. 464-482. © Sage Publications, Inc.

Surveys from 309 inmates at a close-security prison in southwest Ohio revealed that the death penalty attitudes of prison inmates are as considered as they are diverse. Results indicated that 43% supported the death penalty but that support softened considerably when alternatives such as "true" life were offered. Based on their personal experiences, much of the opposition to capital punishment (53%) stemmed from the inmates’ beliefs that executions do not deter violent crime. However, that opposition dropped to 34% when the respondents were asked if the death penalty should apply to the physical and sexual abuse of children.

Prisoner Reentry

Ohio Prisoners’ Reflections on Returning Home (2006)

Christy Visher, Demelza Baer, and Rebecca Naser. Urban Institute, Washington, D.C.
Returning Home Reflections

This report presents findings from surveys completed by 424 males prior to release from Ohio prisons and their return to Cuyahoga County. The study provides descriptive statistics of respondents’ criminal history, substance use, employment, current health problems, in-prison programming experiences, relationships with family members, and expectations for release.

Cleveland Prisoners’ Experiences Returning Home (2006)

Christy A. Visher and Shannon M.E. Courtney. Urban Institute, Washington, D.C.
Returning Home Experiences

This research brief expands on the information found in the Ohio Prisoners’ Reflections on Returning Home report by comparing the prerelease experiences of those prisoners with their experiences after release. The researchers present key findings on a range of reentry challenges and describe factors likely related to postrelease success or failure, such as employment, substance abuse, attitudes and beliefs, health challenges, criminal histories and family and community environments.

Community Residents’ Perceptions of Prisoner Reentry in Selected Cleveland Neighborhoods (2006)

Lisa E. Brooks, Christy A. Visher and Rebecca L. Naser. Urban Institute, Washington, D.C.
Resident Perceptions Reentry

This report presents findings from community focus group discussions in three Cleveland neighborhoods that are home to a large number of returning prisoners. A profile of each neighborhood and the focus group selection process is provided. Findings cover a wide range of topics including the transition process, preparation for reentry, family and community support, the impact of reentry on the community, neighborhood transition, community awareness, and residents’ suggestions for removing barriers to reentry.

The Substance Abuse Re-entry Needs of Offenders by Gender and Race (2005)

Morris Jenkins, Ph.D., Lois Ventura, Ph.D. and Eric Lambert, Ph.D., The University of Toledo.

The researchers examined case files of 300 substance abuse treatment clients to determine whether ex-offenders in a medium sized Midwestern city received disparate substance abuse treatment and were engaged in using a different type of substance of abuse. The researchers reported that the type of substance abused and the history of treatment varied on the basis of both race and gender. They conclude that a culturally sensitive or specific approach to this problem is needed for re-entering ex-offenders.

In Need of Help: Experiences of Seriously Ill Prisoners Returning to Cincinnati (2005)

Christy A. Visher, Rebecca L. Naser, Demelza Baer and Jesse Jannetta. Urban Institute, Washington, D.C.
Health Reentry

This brief provides a look at the service delivery system in Cincinnati for former prisoners with mental and medical health problems, including collaborations among service providers and local, state, and federal agencies and including organizational barriers to service delivery for this population. Using information gathered from surveys and ex-prisoner and provider focus groups, it documents prisoners’ transitions from prison to the community and through about 90 days after release, with a focus on their medical and mental health care and substance abuse treatment needs and the services they received.

Mental Health Pre-Release Workshop: Inmate Attitudes Toward Release (2005)

Bruce Maaser, Ph.D.

This paper describes a cognitive behavioral workshop for inmates designed to replace "dangerous thoughts" with realistic and constructive thoughts about reentry into the community. A survey asking about participant concerns about release was completed by 211 inmates prior to participation in the workshop. Most inmates indicate they have no concerns about release to the community.


Evaluation of Cognitive-Behavioral Programs for Offenders: A Look at Outcome and Responsivity in Five Treatment Programs (2004)

Dana Jones Hubbard, Ph.D. and Edward J. Latessa, Ph.D.
COG Evaluation Final Report

This study evaluates cognitive-behavioral programs in five treatment settings. The researchers find that, overall, the cognitive-behavioral programs are no more or less effective than other programs in reducing arrest or incarceration. They also examine whether individual offender characteristics influence whether an offender will successfully complete the program, and find that higher risk offenders are more likely to be unsuccessful in the program. In addition, program effects vary by site.

Evaluation of Ohio's Community Based Correctional Facilities and Halfway House Programs(2002)

Christopher T. Lowencamp, Ph.D. and Edward J. Latessa, Ph.D.
CBCF ReportReport AppendicesGraphic Depictions of Program Characteristics and Outcome

This comprehensive study describes the major components of Ohio’s CBCF’s and Halfway Houses, provides a profile of their offenders, calculates program success rates and identifies differences between the successful and unsuccessful program terminations, and examines the post-release recidivism rates of offenders served in the programs and how those rates differ from a comparison group. One important finding is that treatment effects on recidivism vary by offender risk level - the treatment effects are larger for offenders who are identified (using a 14-item risk assessment scale) as moderate or high-risk for re-offending.

Outcome Evaluation of Ohio's Drug Court Efforts (2002)

Edward J. Latessa, Ph.D., Deborah Koetzle Shaffer, M.A., and Christopher T. Lowencamp, Ph.D.
Drug Court Report

The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of drug courts in Ohio, including an analysis of courts at the common pleas, municipal, and juvenile levels. The study explores the characteristics of offenders, the treatment needs and retention rates of participants, the effect of drug court participation on reducing recidivism (new arrests), and the factors that predict the likelihood of success/failure. Importantly, one of the findings is that drug court participants are significantly less likely to be arrested than the comparison group, while controlling for a number of other variables that may influence recidivism.


Evaluation of Ohio's Reclaim Funded Programs, Community Corrections Facilities, and DYS Facilities: FY 2002 CCF Supplementary Report (2006)

Christopher T. Lowencamp, Ph.D. and Edward J. Latessa, Ph.D.
CCF Evaluation Final (2006)

This evaluation provides an in-depth look at the effectiveness of Community Corrections Facilities (CCF) in reducing youth recidivism. It also uses Correctional Program Assessment Inventory (CPAI) data to assess program quality, and evaluates adherence to the risk principle by measuring the percentage of high-risk youth in each Ohio DYS facility. Much variation in recidivism is found when comparing the recidivism of youth in the CCF matched with youth in the RECLAIM program. Also, programs scoring higher on the CPAI are more effective at reducing recidivism, and programs that serve higher-risk youth are more effective.


Open-Air Drug Dealing in Cincinnati, Ohio: Executive Summary and Final Recommendations (2005)

Tamara D. Madensen, M.A., Marie K. Skubak, M.S., Darwin G. Morgan, M.A. and John E. Eck, Ph.D.
Cincinnati Open-Air Drug Dealing

This evaluation describes similarities across open-air drug markets in Cincinnati and includes a detailed overview of recommendations for developing an effective crime reduction strategy.

Mobile Crisis Team/Police Collaboration Evaluation (2004)

James Frank, Ph.D., John Eck, Ph.D., and Shamir Ratansi.
MCT Report

This study examines the impact of a collaborative effort of local mental health providers and the police in Cincinnati to respond to calls involving mentally impaired individuals.

Police Vehicle Stops in Cincinnati (2003)

John E. Eck, Ph.D., Lin Liu, Ph.D., Lisa Growette Bostaph, M.A.
Police Stops Report

This report examines the level and causes of disproportionate targeting of African-Americans in police vehicle stops. The researchers explore whether police stops reflect 1) officer bias; 2) a response to disproportionate offending among African-Americans; and/or 3) the proactive, aggressive enforcement to reduce crime that is encouraged by the police department unintentionally increases disproportionate targeting of African-Americans.

Assessing Spatial Patterns of Crime in Lima, Ohio (2004)

William V. Ackerman and Alan T. Murray, Cities, 21(2), pp. 423-437.

This paper details a framework for better understanding the spatial characteristics of crime based upon the use of geographical information systems (GIS) and quantitative techniques.

Socioeconomic Correlates of Increasing Crime Rates in Smaller Communities(1998)

William V. Ackerman, Professional Geographer, 50(3), pp. 372-387.

This article provides a detailed analysis of changing crime rates in 111 Ohio cities with populations between 10,000 and 99,999 inhabitants and attempts to account for crime differentials between these cities employing linear regression and factor analysis.

Child Abduction Policy: Influenced by Media Coverage or Empirical Data?(2005)

Glenn W. Muschert, Ph.D., Melissa Young-Spillers, M.S., Dawn Carr, M.G.S.

Social problems, such as child abductions, are connected with policy initiatives, in that they often serve as the underlying rationale (or justification) for the policy. This paper analyzes both national news media and local Ohio news media’s characterization of child abductions during the year following the Smart abduction, and compares that characterization with the social science evidence about the extent of the child abduction problem; and, examines the creation of child abduction polices during and around the study period and assesses if these policies are supported by the empirical evidence. Findings suggest that child abduction policy initiatives during the study period reflected the media’s conceptualization of the problem rather than the empirical conceptualization. Recommendations for extended research are discussed.

Mapping Registered Sex Offenders in Wood County: Considering the School Buffer Zone and Housing Rent(2005)

Qiang Xu and Yu Zhou.

This project examines the distribution of registered sex offenders in Wood County, Ohio, with a specific focus on the distribution of released sex offenders in the city of Bowling Green. The report explores how far sex offenders live or work from schools and the relationship between local housing rent and the residence of registered sex offenders.


The Impact of Ohio's Senate Bill 2 on Sentencing Disparities (2002)

John Wooldredge, Fritz Rauschenberg, Timothy Griffin and Travis Pratt.
SB2 Impact Disparities

This study explores the impact of Ohio’s "truth in sentencing" reform bill (SB2) on the reduction of disparity in sentencing offenders with similar legal characteristics. SB2 created guidelines intended to reduce sentencing disparity, increase the influence of legal factors on sentencing and other case processing decision points, and increase the use of community supervision for lower-level, nonviolent offenders. The researchers compare sentencing decisions before and after SB2 implementation, and find that SB2 reduced prison incarceration rates substantially, while simultaneously increasing the proportion of lower level (felony 4 & felony 5) convictions. While the findings are complex, SB2 generally had very little impact on the treatment of non-white and white offenders when compared to the outcomes in the pre-SB2 time-period. However, very strong jurisdiction differences were evident for these racial groupings.

Monitoring Sentencing Reform (2005)

Jeffry Harris and David Diroll
SB2 Monitoring Report (2005)

This report explores the impact of the comprehensive felony sentencing plan proposed by the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission and enacted by the General Assembly (as S.B. 2, effective July 1, 1996).