Governor Signs Senator Tavares' Bill to Give Non-Violent Offenders More Opportunities for a Second Chance
SB 66 meant to reduce prison population by expanding access to treatment options
July 31, 2018
On Monday, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law a bill sponsored by state Senators Charleta B. Tavares (D-Columbus) and John Eklund (R-Munson Township) to modernize Ohio’s criminal justice system by providing more options for Ohio’s non-violent offenders to get a second chance.
“This bill becoming law is a sign that Ohio is moving toward a fairer and more just criminal justice system,” said Senator Tavares. “We simply cannot continue to place people behind bars in an effort to be tough on crime, but rather we must make an honest effort to help change behaviors and give people the opportunity to change.”
Senate Bill 66 expands “community control” alternatives to prison time, allowing for more non-violent drug offenders to enter into treatment instead of going to prison. The bill also gives local judges more discretion to keep offenders with minor parole violations in the community rather than sending them to prison.
“Prison shouldn’t be a revolving door,” said Senator Tavares. “We must be as dedicated to rehabilitation as we are to incarceration to give Ohio citizens the chance to re-enter society and add value back to our communities when they return home.”
SB 66 also modernizes the record sealing law to give more individuals a chance to move on after low-level felony convictions. The law will expand both the categories of eligible offenders and the number of offenses that can be sealed.
The bill will officially go into effect in late October.