The majority of the gang members are considered passive while 9 percent are active and 7.7 percent are disruptive, the report found.
Gang membership in the state’s two women’s prisons — Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville and Dayton Correctional Institution — is less than 3 percent of the population.
At Lebanon Correctional, 792 inmates, or 30.6 percent, are considered to be in gangs. At Warren Correctional, 449 prisoners, or 32 percent, are in gangs.
Gang activity is grounds for transferring an inmate to a higher security prison. As a result, the percentage of inmates in gangs climbs dramatically in the high-security prisons: 62.6 percent at the Ohio Penitentiary in Youngstown, 48.5 percent at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville and 42.1 percent at Toledo Correctional.
Prison officials classify inmates when they first arrive and monitor them for gang activity during their imprisonment, such as associating with other known gang members, fighting, getting fresh gang tattoos, recruiting new members or holding contraband.
“You are judged by the company you keep,” Voorhies said.
Voorhies said he believes membership is down because in recent years DRC installed more stringent criteria for classifying gang members and the state shifted active gang members to higher-security prisons where their movements and privileges are more restricted.
Ohio instituted a three-tier system: most violent offenders are housed in the most secure facilities; the most cooperative prisoners go to prisons that prep them for re-entry into society; and general population prisons.
“We believe we’re trying to get the inmates in the right place with the right attitude,” Voorhies said.