Columbus—Today, State Senator Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) and the members of the Criminal Justice Recodification Committee detailed their ongoing work at a press conference at the Ohio Statehouse. The 24-member committee is charged with rewriting the criminal laws of the State of Ohio by next August. Its membership includes legislators, judges, defense and prosecuting attorneys, and representatives from the law enforcement and corrections community.
Senator Thomas laid out his priorities at the press conference, which are as follows:
“It is critically important that this committee seek out and take into account the perspective of our urban minority communities,” said Senator Thomas. “Any work that is done on criminal justice is incomplete without input from the people that will be most impacted by reforms.”
Senator Thomas plans to draw on his experience as a Cincinnati police officer to inform his work on the Recodification Committee. He also serves as the Ranking Member on the permanent Senate Criminal Justice Committee.
“In my long experience with the criminal justice system, dealing with every sort of crime, it is obvious that certain mistakes should not ruin a person’s life,” said Senator Thomas. “We can address things like nonviolent drug offenses and mental illness in constructive ways that protect public safety without prison being the default answer.”
Senator Thomas represents Ohio’s 9th district, which includes parts of Cincinnati, St. Bernard, Elmwood Place, Norwood, Golf Manor, Hollydale, Columbia Township, Silverton and Springfield Township.