Incarcerated Survivors of Domestic Violence

Mia Hunter (left) with attorney Tiffanny Smith

There is a tremendous need to release incarcerated survivors of domestic violence who are serving long prison terms for crimes against their abusers. Ninety-three percent of women who kill their intimate partner do so as a result of domestic violence. Women who kill their batterers rarely commit additional crimes. Approximately 4,500 battered women in the US are incarcerated for defending their lives or the lives of their children against batterers. Ohio’s severely-overcrowded prisons hold the fourth largest population of incarcerated women in the United States. Our female prison population is growing much faster than the male population.

OJPC promotes opportunities for release in two forms: parole from the Parole Board or clemency from the Governor.  In addition to providing direct client-representation, we work to engage  and educate the legal, social-service, and political community on the injustice of keeping battered women in prison.

Mia Hunter’s welcome party after her release from prison

In Jan. 2019, in one of his final acts as governor, Gov. John Kasich granted the clemency request of one OJPC client. Thomia Hunter was incarcerated for 15 years after she killed her abusive ex-boyfriend in self-defense. Mia was represented by OJPC attorney Tiffanny Smith for several years. Less than 0.5% of clemency requests are granted in Ohio.

Mia was released from prison in July, 2019. She is ready and thankful for her freedom. Read more about Mia and her story here.

If you have questions about the Incarcerated Survivors of Domestic Violence project, contact Tiffanny Smith at tsmith@ohiojpc.org.