Senate District 18
John Eklund
Eklund Touts Senate Passage Of Bill Strengthening Ohio's Criminal Justice System
March 5, 2018

COLUMBUS - State Senators John Eklund (R-Munson Township) and Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus) recently announced the Senate passage of bipartisan legislation that would make a number of comprehensive improvements to Ohio's criminal justice system.

The proposed bill will strengthen Ohio's criminal justice system and allow offenders to have a fair shot at rehabilitation without being subjected to unfair penalties. The legislation gives judges more discretion, bolsters Intervention in Lieu of Conviction programs, makes changes to the presumptive return to prison for technical parole violations and expands the eligibility for conviction record sealing.

"By limiting the number of low-level, non-violent, non-sex offenders in our prison system, more focus can be put on punishing and protecting Ohioans from more violent crimes," said Eklund. "There is broad consensus that getting 'smart on crime' ultimately will enhance public safety and reduce recidivism in a fiscally responsible way."

The legislation is aimed at reducing recidivism and prison time for low-level, non-violent, non-sex offenders, who make up the fastest growing portion of the state's prison population due to the drug epidemic. To accomplish this, the bill would:

  • Add a rehabilitative tone to the purposes of felony sentencing to provide offenders with a renewed opportunity to find gainful employment after serving a prison sentence;  

  • Expand eligibility for intervention in lieu of conviction for individuals who committed criminal acts, but were addicted to drugs or alcohol;

  • Grant judges discretion to use treatment rather than jail if an offender has a relapse;

  • and Reduce the maximum amount of time an offender can be sent to prison for a post-release control sanction from 9 months to 90 days . 

Senate Bill 66 will now go to the Ohio House of Representative for further consideration.


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