Marysville News

ORW Warden Trim wins top honor

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CHRIS PARKER/THISWEEKNEWS
Ginine Trim, the warden of The Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville, has been named Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections's Warden of the Year.
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She has more than 2,300 women in her care and has 480 staff members under her supervision. Now, Ginine Trim, Ohio Reformatory for Women Warden can add "Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction's Warden of the Year" to her list of accomplishments.

Trim says the honor has stunned her.

"It was a pleasant surprise; I was very humbled by it. I feel there are certainly other wardens who are just as, if not more, deserving. I'm really humbled by this honor," said Trim.

As she walked into her first day at the Pickaway Correction Center in 1997, she never dreamed she would go from corrections officer to prison warden.

"It was scary, it was exciting. I had a whole gamut of emotions because I was stepping into something that was so foreign to me," said Trim.

She stumbled into a career in corrections by accident when she went with friends to a job fair. On a whim she filled out an application for the Department of Corrections.

"It was one of those deals where you think, 'Am I really standing here considering the option of working inside a prison with convicted felons?' At the time I didn't take it very seriously."

She forgot about it and moved on until a call came a year later from the corrections training academy offering her a position.

"I was a corrections officer for about two and one-half years. I enjoyed it. I learned a lot. I knew pretty quickly that it was not the job I wanted to rest in and stay there."

Throughout the past 15 years, she has worked as a mental health secretary, case manager and operations deputy. She has worked in many prisons including the Pickaway Correctional Institution; the Noble Correctional Institution, which included a one-way two-hour commute; the central office and of course Marys-ville's Ohio Reformatory for Women.

Working in the women's prison versus the men's prison has a new set of challenges.

"Their issues are so much more complex. You're dealing with domestic matters with their children. There's a different level of emotion," said Trim.

She said she thinks male offenders are pretty linear and just follow the day to day happenings of prison. Women, however, accept prison as their home more quickly.

"Men can be in a prison for 10 years and not claim it as their residence or home. The women want to be invested, whether they're doing three months or three years. They see themselves as a partner and would like to have a say in their time here," said Trim.

The other thing she found out working with female offenders is there seems to be a larger return on investment.

"They seem to be more willing to work to get rehabilitated than the guys. Men think they have those things intact. The women don't have those things intact so they're building from the ground up."

The position of warden means a lot of ups and downs. Some days, Trim may need to dismiss an employee for breaking rules, which she calls "very tough." Other days she gets to do more uplifting things, such as speak at graduations.

"There are weeks when I think wow -- I could really use something good," she said.

Trim has a passion for rehabilitating offenders and looks to programs that help women get integrated back into society.

Approximately 70 percent of the offenders at ORW are low-level, nonviolent offenders.

"They would really be suitable to live in our community under monitoring or mandated substance abuse diversion program to get them the help they need," Trim said.

The top two crimes committed by inmates at the ORW are theft and possession of drugs.

"There are certainly people incarcerated here that should never be released and may be a detriment to society," said Trim. And she says the victims must be kept in mind. But she would like to see ORW grow as a full reintegration prison.

"We are providing resources and bringing employers in and having women go out in the community and work if their classification allows them to do that. We want that seamless transition back into the community for the women.

"It seems pretty simple to me if you want to be successful as a society, once they've done their time, allow them to get right back into the fold of things and pay taxes and be productive."

Trim is looking for results and said the offenders have value. "I love what I do. I really enjoy coming to work every day. I never imagined I would have a job that would have an impact on so many people's lives in the worst of times for them. It's pretty humbling," she said.

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