Ohio Legislature Approves Vital Criminal Justice Reform Bill

Syrita Bowen News, Ohio, Press

The Justice Action Network Commends the Ohio Legislature for Passing Senate Bill 66 with Strong Bipartisan Vote

June 27, 2018
Press Contactpress@justiceactionnetwork.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Justice Action Network, the largest bipartisan organization working to reform the justice system at the state and federal level, commended the Ohio legislature today for approving Senate Bill 66, a bill that expands access to record sealing, expands eligibility for critically-needed drug and alcohol treatment programs, promotes rehabilitation as an alternative to prison, allows for alternative sanctions for violating terms of parole, and modifies the way in which a court calculates jail time credit. The bill overwhelmingly passed the Ohio House 84-2 in the final hours before the close of the legislative session.

According to a recent Justice Action Network poll, over 87% of voters agree that the purpose of the justice system should be to rehabilitate people to become productive, law-abiding citizens, and 78% of Ohio voters believe individuals with low-level criminal histories should be allowed to seal their records so they have a better shot of finding jobs, supporting their families, and turning away from crime for good.

“Battleground Ohio has proven yet again that lawmakers from opposite sides of the aisle can still come together to pass meaningful criminal justice reforms that will save the state money and make Ohioans safer,” said Holly Harris, executive director of the Justice Action Network. “By passing Senate Bill 66, the Ohio legislature listened to the will of the people and helped ensure that those who make mistakes have a real opportunity for rehabilitation and a second chance.”

“This day would not have been possible without the bipartisan work of Sens. John Eklund and Charletta Tavares, as well as the dedication of Gary Mohr, the tireless director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction,” Harris said. “We also want to thank Senate President Larry Obhof and House Speaker Ryan Smith for prioritizing this legislation. The Justice Action Network was proud to champion this legislation and will build on its success by encouraging elected officials in other states to follow in Ohio’s footsteps. For as goes Ohio, so goes the country.”

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