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Government & Politics

Bipartisan Ohio Lawmakers Push for Reform in the Criminal Justice System

photo of Gary Mohr, Ecklund and Tavares
ANDY CHOW
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
Gary Mohr, director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, stands with co-sponsors of the bill, Sen. Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus) and Sen. John Eklund (R-Chardon)

Republican and Democratic lawmakers are calling for a plan that they think will help reduce the population in Ohio’s overcrowded prisons.

The bill would give judges more discretion when it comes to sentencing people who have committed fourth- and fifth-degree felonies. The plan would allow judges more flexibility on choosing community control over time behind bars.

Gary Mohr, director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, says steering people away from prison will have better long-term results.

"The community providers do a better job than we do in prison. Unfortunately, we allow many people to become acclimated to others that are going to be criminally engaged for the rest of their lives.”

Community control can range from a treatment facility to monitoring an offender in their home. That decision would be up to the judge.