state:
Ohio
Local history:
Life Sentences: Death Penalty on the Installment Plan
How much time is enough time?
Antioch College
National Traveling Venue:
Herndon Gallery
South Hall - First floor One Morgan Place Yellow Springs, OH 45387
March 29, 2018June 2, 2018
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Ohio: Life Sentences: Death Penalty on the Installment Plan
How much time is enough time?
Antioch College

Over the past 30 years, life sentences in the US have expanded nearly five-fold. The “tough on crime” era of the 1980s and1990s brought a wave of longer sentences and stricter parole laws.

Our project explores life sentences in Ohio, and we ground our work in a collaboration with women serving life at Dayton Correctional Institution. In Ohio, most “lifers” have the possibility of parole (89%, compared to 54% nationally), and some of the harshest life sentencing laws, such as “three strikes” and felony murder, do not exist in our state. What can we learn from Ohio? First, even though most people serving life are parole-eligible, few of them are released. Our collaborators dub life sentences “death penalty on the installment plan” because parole denials extend their imprisonment indefinitely. Second, life sentences in Ohio are extreme and overused, even for serious crimes like homicide. Finally, race, class, and gender disparities remain pervasive in the Ohio criminal justice system.

The context of women’s crimes — which often include poverty, abuse, trauma, and male co-defendants — are under-acknowledged at every stage of the process. Furthermore, Ohio’s self-defense and “battered woman syndrome” statutes are inadequate for addressing the realities of women who kill those who abuse them and their children.

Our Point of View

Life sentences provide unique insight into systemic injustices and the punitive philosophy at the core of our criminal justice system. Many people serving life have themselves been victimized, they are disproportionately poor and/or black, and they may not have had adequate counsel or a fair trial (or any trial at all for the vast majority who accept a plea deal). Ohio’s Parole Board routinely denies parole, even to the elderly who have spent decades behind bars and who are unlikely to commit another violent crime.

We would like to see systemic changes that 1) acknowledge the complicated humanity of each situation, 2) better recognize the needs of people in prison who are ill, aging, and dying, 3) make “automatic release” at the time of parole standard practice, and 4) redirect resources from punitive to supportive infrastructure.

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Ohio: Life Sentences: Death Penalty on the Installment Plan    Antioch College
How much time is enough time?
Ohio: Life Sentences: Death Penalty on the Installment Plan
How much time is enough time?
  Antioch College

National Exhibition Venue    Herndon Gallery

Public Dialogues and Events
| March 29 – June 2, 2018

See Full Exhibition & Events Schedule
Mar 29, 2018
A Human with a Life Sentence artwork by Forest Bright

A collaborative art piece created by Forest Bright and inspired by conversations between Antioch students and faculty and women who serving life at Dayton Correctional Facility. Credit: Forest Bright

A Human with a Life Sentence artwork by Forest Bright

A collaborative art piece created by Forest Bright and inspired by conversations between Antioch students and faculty and women who serving life at Dayton Correctional Facility. Credit: Forest Bright

Thursday, March 29, 2018

OH: States of Incarceration Opening

Description: 

The States of Incarceration Exhibit Opening at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH.read more…

Venue: 

Herndon Gallery, Antioch College

South Hall, First Floor

One Morgan Place

Yellow Springs, OH 45387

Apr 12, 2018
An aerial photo of Dayton Correctional Institution in Ohio with the text "Women's Voice From Dayton Correctional Institution" written over it.

Women's Voices from Dayton Correctional Institution is a series of stories based on WYSO's Community Voices class at the prison. Credit: Juliet Fromholt/WYSO

An aerial photo of Dayton Correctional Institution in Ohio with the text "Women's Voice From Dayton Correctional Institution" written over it.

Women's Voices from Dayton Correctional Institution is a series of stories based on WYSO's Community Voices class at the prison. Credit: Juliet Fromholt/WYSO

Thursday, April 12, 2018

OH: States of Incarceration Reception and Project Talks

Description: 

Antioch students will from Dr. Emily Steinmetz's Critical Prison Studies class will present their research and work for the States of Incarceration National Project. The event also features a performance by Cathy Roma and the Hope through Harmony DCI Choir and Amy Wissman and Mary Evans, who both participated in the WYSO Women's Voices from Dayton Correctional Institution. The evening will conclude with a book drive sponsored by the Antioch College Prison Justice Independent Group to meet the requests of people who are incarcerated.read more…

Time: 
7 PM to 9 PM
Venue: 

Herndon Gallery

South Hall, First Floor, Antioch College

One Morgan Place

Yellow Springs, OH 45387

May 3, 2018
A photo of a portion of an Ohio parole denial form with the phrase due to the serious nature of the crime highlighted.

Excerpt from an Ohio parole denial decision sheet. It is common for parole-eligible people to receive multiple continuances, extending their sentence indefinitely.

A photo of a portion of an Ohio parole denial form with the phrase due to the serious nature of the crime highlighted.

Excerpt from an Ohio parole denial decision sheet. It is common for parole-eligible people to receive multiple continuances, extending their sentence indefinitely.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

OH: Antioch College Forum on Parole

Description: 

This panel is a special edition of Antioch's "Friday Forum" on parole featuring Dr. Angela Bryant, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Ohio State University-Newark.read more…

Time: 
1 PM
Venue: 

Coretta Scott King Center

Antioch College

Yellow Springs, OH 45387

May 3, 2018
A red and orange colored poster for Prison Terminal, a film by Edgar Barens. It features a man in a red hat sitting in a wheel chair in front of a prison building enclosed by barbed wire.

Prison Terminal tells the story of the last days of a terminally ill person in the hospice of one of America's oldest maximum security prisons.

A red and orange colored poster for Prison Terminal, a film by Edgar Barens. It features a man in a red hat sitting in a wheel chair in front of a prison building enclosed by barbed wire.

Prison Terminal tells the story of the last days of a terminally ill person in the hospice of one of America's oldest maximum security prisons.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

OH: Screening of Prison Terminal

Description: 

Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall is a documentary that chronicles the final months of a terminally ill person in one of America's oldest maximum security prisons and the hospice volunteers, they themselves incarcerated, who care for him.read more…

Time: 
7 PM
Venue: 

Coretta Scott King Center

Antioch College

Yellow Springs, OH 45387

Jun 1, 2018
Letters R and J and the number 2 enclosed in a red circle. Next to text that reads: Antioch College and Community Empowerment Organization present the second restorative justice conference

Letters R and J and the number 2 enclosed in a red circle. Next to text that reads: Antioch College and Community Empowerment Organization present the second restorative justice conference

Friday, June 1, 2018

OH: Restorative Justice Symposium

Description: 

Join Antioch College and CEO for the second restorative justice conference entitled, Are We There Yet: Healing Harms in Sexual and Family Violence and the Role of Restorative Justice. The two day conference begins at the Herndon Gallery, where the States of Incarceration exhibition is on display, followed by presentations centering on healing practices for domestic and sexual violence survivors, training in circle practices, facilitation, and deepening healings. On the evening of June 2 there will also be a closing reception for the exhibition.

For more information visit Antioch's website here. Register for the conference here.read more…

Venue: 

Antioch College

Yellow Springs, OH 45387

States of Incarceration is created by over 500 people in 17 states, and growing. We explore the roots of mass incarceration in our own communities—to open national dialogue on what should happen next. Click on a state to learn more.

States of Incarceration is created by over 500 people in 17 states, and growing. We explore the roots of mass incarceration in our own communities—to open national dialogue on what should happen next. Click on a state to learn more.

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