(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that $225,000 is available for the second year of Ohio’s Prisoner Reimbursement Program which reimburses local law enforcement for the cost of in-state and out-of-state extraditions.
The Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) is offering the funding this fiscal year to assist with the cost of returning dangerous, wanted offenders back to Ohio to face criminal charges.
The Prisoner Extradition Reimbursement Program is open to any Ohio law enforcement agency that has limited funds to extradite suspects on warrants for Tier I offenses. The program was developed as part of Governor DeWine’s STRONG Ohio plan after a study by the Ohio Governor’s Warrant Task Force revealed that some local law enforcement agencies were not entering all felony warrants into state and federal warrant databases due to lack of funding or personnel to extradite suspects arrested in another state.
During the last fiscal year, OCJS reimbursed local authorities for nearly $97,000 in extradition expenses.
“So far, this funding has helped local agencies bring dangerous offenders back to Ohio on serious charges such as rape, felonious assault, aggravated murder, and aggravated vehicular homicide,” said Governor DeWine. “In addition, overall warrant entry into state and federal databases has increased by 903-percent, which will not only help law enforcement track down dangerous offenders but also better protect citizens overall.”
Although there are currently no laws in Ohio requiring that law enforcement agencies enter open warrants into the state or national law enforcement databases, Governor DeWine’s STRONG Ohio plan includes legislation to mandate the entry of Tier I warrants and certain protection orders into both LEADS and NCIC within 48 hours. InnovateOhio, whose mission includes using technology in government to improve services, is working to develop an E-warrant system to help law enforcement quickly and efficiently manage the proposed new mandate. Initial counties are expected to begin using the new system in early 2021.
Applications for the second round of grant funding will be accepted until all available funds have been awarded. More information on the grant, including application information, is available at www.ocjs.ohio.gov