Bill Introduced To Review Prisoner Work Program

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A state senator on Thursday introduced a bill that would suspend the inmate work program that allows prisoners to work at the Governor's Residence.

Sen. David Goodman said his proposed legislation would establish safety standards to better govern the inmate work program, 10 Investigates' Paul Aker reported.

An April 29 report by Inspector General Thomas Charles revealed significant gaps in the oversight of the program and Goodman said his bill would ensure that if the program continues, safety will be a top priority.

WEB EXTRAS:  Case Timeline  | Read Goodman's Letter To Strickland (PDF File) | SPECIAL SECTION:  10 Investigates

"I had been encouraging the Governor to suspend the program and work with us to develop adequate safety standards. He dismissed my concerns and rebuffed my earnest offer to work with him." Goodman said in a news release. "This bill will ensure security protocols are clear in the law to protect the first family and their neighbors, and to keep the inmates from bringing contraband and other dangerous implements back into our prison system."

The bill would prohibit inmates who have been convicted of violent offenses, sexual offenses or multiple felonies from participating in the program and requires that the criminal histories of all eligible inmates be thoroughly reviewed prior to their assignment.

10 Investigates discovered that the inmate program has created a wave of wrongdoing at the Governor's Residence.

We uncovered reports that inmates were left unsupervised, smuggled contraband and even had access to alcohol at some points.

Charles issued a report that found the Governor's Residence had become a "mule station" for contraband, flowing to prisoners and into prison.

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Previous Stories:

May 11, 2010: Safety Director Denied Aborting Sting, Recordings Show
May 5, 2010: Strickland Asked To Suspend Inmate Program Where He Lives
April 29, 2010: Report: 'Political Embarrassment' Key Factor In Canceled Sting
April 28, 2010:  'No Holds Barred' Report Expected About Gov. Residence Incident
March 24, 2010:  Senate Hearings Continue On Canceled Drug Sting At Gov's Residence
March 22, 2010: Canceled Hearings On Drug Sting Will Continue
March 17, 2010: E-Mails Show Drug Sting May Have Been Stopped For Political Reasons
February 24, 2010: Cover Up Allegations Follow Canceled Drug Sting
February 23, 2010:  Concerns Linger About Alcohol, Inmates Inside Governor's Residence
February 17, 2010:  10 Investigates' Probe Prompts Senate Hearing
February 2, 2010:   Patrol Changes Investigation Involving Major 
February 1, 2010:   Ex-Colonel Wants Investigation Into Alleged Gov. Residence Plot
January 29, 2010:   Ohio Highway Patrol Official Ousted Over Alleged Gov. Residence Plot
January 28, 2010:   Strickland Confident How Patrol Handled Sting Outside His Mansion
January 27, 2010:   Woman At Center Of Alleged Drug Deal Governor's Mansion Explains Ordeal
January 26, 2010:   Patrol Tips Off Woman Suspected In Drug Deal At Governor's Mansion