Ohio says prison gang numbers decline slightly

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio prisons system says the number of inmates in gangs is down slightly since the agency began efforts to reduce violence behind bars.

Vinko Kucinic (ving-koh kuh-SIN'-ihk) , director of anti-gang efforts for the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, says inmates can be declassified as gang members depending on their level of activity.

A report by the legislative Correctional Institution Inspection Committee says the prison system had 8,272 gang members as of January, almost all of whom were classified as "passive" members.

Those numbers, just over 16 percent of the total inmate population, are down from 9,319 from the previous January.

Kucinic said Tuesday that gang membership is a fact of life in prison that the state is always dealing with.

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