Ohio Rural Recidivism Reduction Project

Ohio Rural Recidivism Reduction Project (OR3)

The Ohio Rural Recidivism Reduction Project (OR3) reflects a collaborative undertaking among the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC), the local courts, community corrections agencies, local reentry coalitions and local service providers. 
The objective of the project is to improve these groups’ reentry capacity by providing carefully targeted and seamlessly coordinated programming and services to moderate-to-high risk offenders returning from prison to a ten-county area in South Central Ohio. These counties are: Athens, Fayette, Highland, Hocking, Jackson, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton. 
The overall goal of OR3 is to reduce levels of recidivism that are on average higher in these counties than the overall statewide rate of recidivism.
Why target rural areas?
Research conducted on offender reentry has found that offenders who are returning to rural communities face barriers distinct from their counterparts who are transitioning back into urban or suburban areas. These barriers include: limited availability of services, lack of access to services, geographical remoteness, lack of transportation, limited support systems, unemployment, and poverty.   OR3 is designed to develop practical, sustainable reentry practices that are tailored to the specific needs and challenges of offenders released to rural communities. 
How is OR3 funded?
This project is supported by Grant No. 2012-CZ-BX-0015 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the Office for Victims of Crime. 
Benefits of OR3
Benefits for released offenders include:

  •  Improved access to services such as employment training, health care, and other direct programming that targets offenders’ criminogenic needs;
  •  assistance in procuring transportation to and from necessary programming and services;
  •  reduced risk of returning to prison, and;
  • an enhanced support network of corrections staff and community partners to ensure a seamless transition from prison to community.

Additionally, the social services, programming, and support that OR3 provides for released offenders increases their potential to become positive, contributing members of their families and communities.  
Eligibility Requirements

  • Offenders must be returning to one of the following 10 counties: Athens, Fayette, Highland, Hocking, Jackson, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Scioto or Vinton County.
  • Offenders must be scored as moderate-to-high risk in the Ohio Risk Assessment System (ORAS) or reflect a score of 3 or higher in RAP.
  • Offenders must be released on community supervision, parole/post release control, judicial release or transitional control.
  • Offenders must be released from prison before October 31st, 2013.  They may sign up to participate while incarcerated or within 60 days of release.

Key Project Partners
The underlying philosophy of the OR3 Model is that long-term sustainable programming is dependent on developing existing resources/local infrastructures so that effective strategies can enhance what the community already has to offer. The ODRC selected the following project partners based on their current capacity to serve the higher-risk offenders returning to the community:

Together, these organizations will collaborate to provide evidence-based programming (including cognitive behavioral programming) that addresses criminal attitudes, associates and thinking, and substance abuse.  To increase access to such programming and services, they will offer transportation assistance to offenders participating in the project.
A comprehensive evaluation of the project will be accomplished by Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs in concert with their Department of Social and Public Health.  The ODRC Bureau of Research and Evaluation will provide internal support and assistance through data-collection and retrieval drawing on the DRC’s Departmental Offender Tracking System (DOTS) and other resources.
The evaluation will focus on three areas; the development and implementation of rural reentry initiatives, the intermediate outcomes for individuals reentering the community and the ultimate goal of reduced recidivism.

Contact Information

For more information about the Ohio Rural Recidivism Reduction Project, please contact Reentry Administrator Darryl Graves or Rural Reentry Specialist Tania Sherry.   

A brochure with additional information about OR3 can be downloaded here