The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) has traditionally operated under a function organization structure within state government that clearly separated services provided into two primary categories: prisons and parole services with both categories reporting to the agency Director. An organization structure based on functions provides a clear direction for job requirements, allows the opportunity for staff to become experts in their field of assignment, which increases productivity. Although this structure was successfully utilized by the DRC for many years, unintentionally, it created a separation between levels of management and their subordinates and division and a division between the agency’s prison and parole services.
To remedy this division the DRC changed its structure to a regionalized organization type. The supporting goal for this transition is to blur the lines within the functional structure and decentralize functions throughout the agency. Decentralizing will empower organization leaders, increase lines of communication at all levels, and build bridges within and between prison and parole services. The decentralized structure will make staff more available in the field to see, hear and feel what is taking place within their regions, allowing them to create relationships with community partners and offenders. All of these changes are to support and further the DRC’s mission of “reducing recidivism among those we touch” (Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction). Common among most state ran prison systems within the United States; the Ohio DRC maintains several functions. Author Dean John Champion has identified these functions in his book, Administration of Criminal Justice: Structure, Function, and Process, as “providing societal protection, punishing offenders, rehabilitating offenders, and reintegrating offenders” (Champion). All of the fore mentioned functions work in tandem to achieve the driving mission of reducing recidivism. In order to understand the Ohio DRC as a whole, it is imperative to understand the offices which makeup the Department and the Divisions that each encompasses.
First, it is important to look at the structure of the Ohio DRC. Ohio’s prisons are grouped into four regions, mainly for administrative purposes; northeast, northwest, southwest, and southeast. Each region has a director who supervises prison operations and administrative supervisor for individual wardens. Additionally, each region has an Office of Offender Reentry, Office of the Chief Inspector, and an Office of Correctional Health Care.
The office of Offender Reentry is responsible for integration programs, services, and community relationships, designed to promote successful offender transition back into the community. The Chief Inspector monitors and processes inmate grievances; additionally, regular inspections are conducted to endure departmental rules and policies are being followed. The Office of Correctional...