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Government & Politics

Criminal Justice Reform Proposals Could Save Millions In State Money

photo of Stephen JohnsonGrove
ANDY CHOW
/
OHIO PUBLIC RADIO
Stephen JohnsonGrove, Ohio Justice and Policy Center, at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.

Last year, many issues divided Ohio fiercely along party lines. But one topic that brought Republicans and Democrats together was criminal justice reform. Now there’s a push to continue that effort in 2017.

This year, advocates say there’s still strong interest in cutting down the number of people sent to prison and to reform sentencing laws.

Stephen Johnson Grove with the Ohio Justice and Policy Center says one step is to loosen the penalties for minor probation infractions, such missing a meeting or not getting a job in time.

“And so a petty probation violation does not mean that we, the taxpayers of Ohio, should be paying $25,000 to keep a person in a cage.”

Criminal justice reform is enticing to liberals and conservatives because they say it would reform harsh sentencing for non-violent drug crimes and to ease the fiscal burden on Ohio’s prison system.