Mansfield Leads State with Inmate Grievances
The Correctional Institution Inspection Committee reports of Ohio’s 27 prisons, Mansfield Correctional Institute (MANCI) had the highest number of inmate grievances. The 637 inmate grievances covered issues ranging from food quality with fewest inmate grievances to health care as the most common grievance.
MANCI houses only 4.9 percent of the inmate population but generated nearly 11% of the grievances. Officials said MANCI traditionally has the one of the highest grievance rates in the State. Officials believe this is to do the inmate population being generally first degree felons and prison over crowding which exacerbates problems.
Under state code, Ohio’s inmates may file formal complaints within 14 days of the event. If they are dissatisfied with the result, they may file an appeal. 85.7% of the inmate grievances filed were denied.
Inmate Grievances & Procedure
Per DRC Administrative Rule 5120-9-31, the grievance procedure is designed to address inmate complaints related to any aspect of institutional life that directly affects the grievant. This may include complaints regarding policies, procedures, conditions of confinement, or the actions of institutional staff. The grievance procedure is comprised of three consecutive steps:
Informal complaint – Within 14 days of the event giving rise to the complaint, the inmate can file an informal complaint to the supervisor of the staff or department responsible for the complaint. Staff must respond within seven days of receiving the complaint.
Grievance – If the inmate is dissatisfied with the informal complaint response, the inmate has 14 days to file a grievance with the Institutional Inspector. The Inspector must provide a written response to the inmate within 14 days.
Appeal – If the inmate is dissatisfied with the grievance disposition, the inmate has 14 days to file an appeal to the Chief Inspector at the DRC Operation Support Center in Columbus. The Chief Inspector’s office must respond within 30 days.
Direct Grievance – Grievances regarding the Warden or Institutional Inspector must be filed directly to the Chief Inspector’s Office.
The full report on inmate grievance procedures and statistics can be found here.
July 21, 2015 – update: All Ohio prisons are inspected by the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee. There reports are public and are available for review on their website.