Ohio Parole Board

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770 West Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43222




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Parole Board News

About Us

Ohio Revised Code (ORC) section 5149.10 created the Parole Board as a section within the Adult Parole Authority consisting of up to twelve (12) members, including the Chair.  The members are appointed by the Director of the DRC, and must be qualified by education or experience in correctional work, including law enforcement, prosecution of offenses, advocating for the rights of victims of crime, probation or parole, in law, in social work, or in a combination of the three categories.  Members, except the Chair and the Victim Representative, appointed after September 30, 2011, will be subject to term limits of two (2) six (6) year terms.  The Director, in consultation with the Governor, must appoint one individual to the Board who is a victim of crime, a member of a victim’s family, or who represents an organization that advocates for the rights of victims of crime.   The Parole Board currently consists of nine members whose primary statutory duties include conducting release consideration hearings on all parole eligible inmates and providing clemency recommendations to the Governor.

ORC section 5149.10 also provides for “any other personnel that are necessary for the orderly performance of the duties of the board.”   Additional Parole Board personnel include a staff of 16 Hearing Officers, including three supervisory Chief Hearing Officers.  The primary statutory duties of the Hearing Officers are to assess all inmates sentenced after July 1, 1996, and determine whether or not Post Release Control will be required after release, and to conduct field violation hearings to determine if violations of the conditions of supervision have occurred and recommend an official response to the violations.

There are also 22 Parole Officers assigned to the Parole Board.  These officers assist in preparing hearing materials, submit Transitional Control recommendations and conduct clemency investigations.  They are headquartered at various correctional institutions throughout the state, and are supervised by four Quality Assurance analysts.

Administrative staff of the Parole Board includes an Executive Assistant, three Criminal Justice Planning Specialists, and two support staff.  These staff are integral in ensuring the orderly processing and administration of the Parole Board’s duties and functions.

To submit an email concerning an Offender's Parole Board Hearing, please fill out and submit the Parole Board Email form.

Parole Board Members

Trayce Thalheimer

Acting Chair

Ms. Thalheimer was appointed to the Parole Board in August 2009.  She began employment with the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction as a Parole Officer in 1988, transferring to the Parole Board as Parole Officer in 1996.  She was promoted to Parole Board Hearing Officer in 1998 and then to Chief Hearing Officer in 2002.  Most recently, Ms. Thalheimer served as the Regional Administrator in the Cincinnati Region of the Adult Parole Authority.  Ms. Thalheimer has over 20 years in public service including three years as a Police Officer prior to joining DRC.  Ms. Thalheimer has a Bachelors Degree. 

Kathleen Kovach


Mrs. Kovach was appointed to the Parole Board in January 2003, as the Victim’s Representative. Mrs. Kovach comes to the Parole Board with 13 years of experience in crime victim services.  She was employed for 11 years with the Victim Assistance Program in Summit County, serving three years as Assistant Director.  In addition, Mrs. Kovach spent two years as the Director of Victim Services for the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office.    She has a Bachelors and a Masters Degree.

Ellen Venters


Ms. Venters was appointed to the Ohio Parole Board in August 2004. Ms. Venters began her employment with the Department Of Rehabilitation and Correction in August 2000 as the Superintendent of Special Services with the Division of Parole and Community Services. She was formerly Executive Director of an alcohol and drug treatment facility for 5 years and has an additional 18 years of work experience in community corrections. Ms. Venters has a Bachelors and a Juris Doctorate Degree.  

R.F. Rauschenberg


Mr. Rauschenberg was appointed to the Parole Board in January 2006.  He was formerly a Budget Analyst for the Ohio Legislative Budget Office from 1986 to 1992 and the Research Coordinator for the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission from 1992 to 2002.  Most recently, Mr. Rauschenberg served as the Program Administrator for the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services where he focused on linking the criminal justice and addiction services systems, particularly for prisoners returning to the community.  Mr. Rauschenberg has a Bachelors and Masters Degree.

Marc Houk 


Mr. Houk was appointed to the Parole Board in July 2012.  He began employment with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction as a Correction Officer in 1987 and earned his way through the ranks holding various positions with distinction. Mr. Houk served as Warden for over 10 years at four facilities to include London Correctional Institution, Southeastern Correctional Institution, and Ohio State Penitentiary. Most recently, Mr. Houk served as Warden at Lorain Correctional Institution.  Mr. Houk has a Bachelors Degree.

Ron Nelson, Jr.


Mr. Nelson was appointed to the Parole Board in July 2012. He is a corrections professional, who began his career with the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction as a Correction Officer in 1984.  From there, Mr. Nelson served in a number of corrections leadership positions throughout the agency including, Bureau Chief, Assistant Bureau Chief, Deputy Warden and Warden’s Assistant.  Most recently, Mr. Nelson served as a Program Administrator in the Bureau of Classification and Reception.  Mr. Nelson has held positions at several DRC institutions during his career. Mr. Nelson has a Bachelors degree.

Alicia Handwerk


Ms. Handwerk was appointed to the Parole Board in January 2013.  She began her employment with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction in the Interstate Compact section.  After a number of years with the Bureau of Adult Detention, she began working in the Bureau of Community Sanctions in the halfway house section.  Most recently, Ms. Handwerk was Chief of the Bureau of Community Sanctions, overseeing the administration of Community Based Correctional Facilities, Community Correction Act programs, halfway houses, Community Residential Centers, Permanent Supportive Housing, Residential Placement and the Transitional Control Program.  She has a Bachelor’s and a Juris Doctorate degree.

Shirley A. Smith


Ms. Smith was appointed to the Parole Board in February 2015.  Ms. Smith was a member of the Ohio State Senate from 2007 to November 2014 and served eight years in the Ohio House of Representatives.  Ms. Smith served on a number of Senate Committees including her role as the Chairwoman of the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee.  She has a combined 16 years in state government and has worked in the areas of prison reform, criminal justice and re-entry.  Ms. Smith has a Bachelor Degree and attended the Kennedy School of Government program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University as a Fannie Mae Foundation Fellow.    

Dr. Tracy L. Reveal


Dr. Tracy L. Reveal began her career in criminal justice in 1993, working as a victim advocate, court clerk and later as a child abuse investigator. She joined the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction in 1994 as a Parole Officer, working in Ross and Highland Counties. Tracy has additionally worked as the Staff Development Specialist for the Cincinnati and Chillicothe Regions of the Adult Parole Authority (APA), and as the Assistant Regional Administrator in the Chillicothe APA Region. In 2001, former Director Dr. Reginald Wilkinson apointed Tracy to serve as the Superintendent of the Corrections Training Academy. She currently serves an appointed position as co-chair of the American Correctional Association's Training Committee, and is President-elect of the International Association of Correctional Training Personnel. Tracy holds a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice and a Doctoral Degree in Education.

Former Parole Board Members Serving Between 1996 and 2018


Start Date

End Date

Bedra, Slayman "Jim"



Bogan, Bobby



Brown, Victor



Capots, Ray



Collins-Taylor, Cathy



Cholar, Richard 03/2012 05/2018

Croft, Gary



Davis, Peter



Denton, Jay



Echols, Walter



Ghee, Margarette



Gooch, H. Richard



Grinner, Henry



Hudson, William



Imbrogno, Andre 07/2012 03/2018
Jackson, Michael H. 01/2013 02/2018

Jones, Gloria



Karl, Olivia



Mack, Sandra



Martinez, Cheryl



Maszczynski, Robert



Mathews, Larry



Mausser, Cynthia



Milligan, Patrick



Mitchell, Betty



Torres, Jose



Upper, Constance