WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has awarded a total of $15,954,497 to the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services as an allocation of CARES Act.
The award will be used to fund employee overtime, purchase personal protective equipment for law enforcement and medical personnel and supplies such as gloves, masks, and sanitizer, and address the medical needs of inmates in state and local prisons, jails, and detention centers. Funds can also be used for hiring, training, and travel expenses.
“Ohio’s criminal justice system has been hit hard by COVID-19. A lack of equipment, close conditions, and an inability to social distance makes inmates and workers particularly vulnerable to infection,” said Brown. “While this funding will provide some support, Ohio’s prisons systems are reporting high numbers of cases. Our state prisons need real help, and we must do more to support them.”
A recent report shows Ohio’s prison system accounts for 20% of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state. At a single state facility in Marion, Ohio, at least 1,828 inmates tested positive for coronavirus.
These funds will be allocated as part of the CARES Act, which was signed into law last month.