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Former Director Of Prison Inspection Office Says One Staffer And Interns Can't Produce Reports

An office that inspects and reports on conditions, trends and violence in Ohio’s 27 adult prisons and three juvenile facilities is down to one staffer, and its work is being done largely by college interns. The office’s former director says she’s worried that trouble which should have been foreseen is on the horizon.

Joanna Saul Carns leads an office that investigates prison complaints in Washington State. 

In 2016, she resigned as director of Ohio’s Correctional Institutional Inspection Committee but hoped lawmakers who forced her out would keep funding it – but its budget has been slashed, it’s down to one staffer,it hasn’t issued a report in four years and is relying on unpaid interns.

“These staff people are dealing with tremendous workloads in a stressful environment. And so, things will fall through the cracks. And it’s not through anyone’s malintent," Carns said.

Carns said interns aren’t trained to analyze data on prison violence, mental health care and contraband among more than 49,000 inmates.

She’s hoping lawmakers will bring back funding to the office to ensure more oversight over the prison system.

Contact Karen at 614-578-6375 or at
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