Two advocacy groups are suing the state on behalf of four prison inmates, trying to secure the release of more than 15 thousand other inmates.
The suit, against Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Director, claims state officials failed to take appropriate action to ensure the safety of inmates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health officials say nearly 20 percent of all coronavirus cases in Ohio stem from state prisons.
The department meanwhile will resume accepting inmates from county jails to begin serving their prison sentences. The department suspended inmate intake to try to lower the overall population. Despite the move, nearly 4,500 inmates and 570 workers have tested positive for COVID-19, and 61 have died. The state will take up to 50 inmates a day aand hold them a minimum of 35 days.