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Government & Politics

Ohio Lawmaker Pushes for an Overhaul of the Bail System

photo of gavel, money and handcuffs

A state lawmaker says the way bail is set for people who are arrested can sometimes be a backwards process. He proposes a way to overhaul the system and base it on risk rather than resources.

Markcus Brown was picked up at a Dayton bus station in May for violating the transit authority’s dress policy, wearing a hoodie and baggy pants. He spent nine days in jail because he couldn’t afford bail.

Meanwhile, others who are arrested for more serious, violent crimes leave jail after making bail.

Republican Rep. Jon Dever is proposing a change. If the person poses a risk, then bail is higher. The lower the risk, the lower the bail, if any.

“And realizing that all of our decisions when it comes to bail should be based on evidence and not how much money you have in your back pocket.”

The conservative Buckeye Institute is backing the changes, and national criminal justice reform groups are supporting bills like Dever's, saying the issue needs to be addressed around the country.