Prisoner advocates protest on Christmas in Ohio


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- About 25 Ohio prisoner advocates and friends and family members of longtime inmates protested on Christmas Day outside of the state's parole board.

The group says they chose to sacrifice much of their holiday for the two-hour protest in front of the parole board's building in downtown Columbus to show how strongly they feel.

The Cincinnati-based group is condemning the imprisonment of what they say is 3,500 inmates sentenced before a new law passed in Ohio in 1996.

The legislation called for flat prison sentences of definite amounts, such as a 10-year sentence, as opposed to sometimes-broad ranges under the old law.

The Universal Support Network is condemning the parole board for not releasing more so-called "old-law" inmates.

A parole board spokeswoman did not return a request for comment.