Report: Ohio warden offered inmates service hours for donation

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The state watchdog says an Ohio prison warden improperly offered credit for community-service hours to inmates in exchange for $1 donations to charities of her choice.

A report released Thursday by the Inspector General also found Belmont Correctional Institution warden Michele Miller tried to remove 200,000 earned community-service hours from a report for the last three months of 2015 after she became aware of an investigation.

The report said wrongful acts occurred and the findings have been referred to a local prosecutor and the state Ethics Commission.

The report said some inmates could have had court-imposed fines and costs reduced as a result of the offer.

Prison spokeswoman JoEllen Smith recently issued the following statement:

We appreciate the time the Office of the Ohio Inspector General has taken to conduct this investigation.  We are currently in the process of reviewing and revising our community service policy.  We will review the Ohio Inspector General’s report and recommendations and provide a timely response.

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