The formation of the Ohio Ex-Offender Reentry Coalition (OERC) represents the culmination of several decades of strategic reentry work across the state of Ohio. The OERC was formally adopted following the passage of House Bill 130 in 2008, which charged this newly-formed coalition with serving as a guiding hub for the expansion and improvement of reentry efforts of state and local agencies and community partners across Ohio.
The OERC is chaired by the Director of the DRC and comprised of 17 statutory members, including state cabinet-level directors, a representative of the Ohio Health Care Licensing Boards, and an ex-offender. Other voices represented in the coalition include those from community-based organizations, service providers, local governments, ex-offenders, and crime victims. Working in this collective fashion, coalition members are well-positioned to address the impact of incarceration on Ohio citizens and families. As a result of the OERC formalized structure, numerous collaborations have been developed and strengthened in an effort that targets barriers to reentry.
The primary goals of the OERC are to reintegrate offenders into society, maintain public safety, and to reduce recidivism across the state of Ohio. The strategic plan offers state and local partners the ability to recommend changes in reentry policies and practices. In addition, our community partners are afforded the opportunity to develop a work plan to implement those changes and to build statewide support for them.
The OERC and its initiatives have been instrumental; assisting the state at making considerable strides in reducing recidivism. This notable success has been due in part to the effort to strengthen collaborations among members and to enable state and local agencies to undertake proactive, innovative approaches to offender treatment and service delivery. The establishment of these relationships have resulted in the successful reintegration of offenders into local communities throughout Ohio.