Notice that Randy Ludlow isn’t on this byline.

The Columbus Dispatch?details the problems Ohio’s prisons are having since the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections banned tobacco in all state prisons.

The story largely focuses on the Pickaway Correctional Institution, the same prison as the honor inmates who worked at the Governor’s Mansion, but it makes it clear that the problem is broader than just the Governor’s Mansion:

Inside the prison, a single hand-rolled cigarette can sell for $10; a pack of cigarettes might go for $200; and a can of loose tobacco can fetch up to $300.

“I’ve had several staff members disciplined or resigned in lieu of discipline as a result of the tobacco,” the warden said. “We had one just before Christmas. Twenty-plus-year officer was bringing in tobacco in his lunch … so he could distribute to inmates. Once confronted … and we found it on him, he resigned.”

Tobacco “drops” have been taped to a highway guardrail on Rt. 762, thrown over prison fences and hidden around monuments and in trash cans at state parks, Hudson said. All are places inmates go as part of their community-service work projects.

“There’s not a day … that goes by in this department, somewhere in the 31 institutions that we have, that we don’t find contraband tobacco,” Hudson told investigators as part of an inquiry into an aborted “sting” at the Governor’s Residence in Bexley.

And after hearing this evidence, Thomas Charles called the DRC’s suggestion that the item was tobacco, and thus, no criminal conduct to investigate, was unfounded.

The amount that the Inspector General buried his head in the sand in this instance in unprecedented.? He didn’t just fail to connect the dots.? He declared the dots didn’t really exists, despite everyone seeing them at the time.

 

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