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Government & Politics

Chief Justice Awaits Task Force Recommendations on Bail Reform

Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor is the first woman to lead the Ohio Supreme Court.

Ohio's Supreme Court Chief Justice is awaiting a task force's recommendations on how to reform Ohio's bail system. Maureen O’Connor said it’s a real problem when some low-income Ohioans charged with crimes have to pay bail to be released from lockups. 

O’Connor said having to pay bail after being charged with minor infractions can turn the world upside down for some low-income Ohioans.

“They lose their jobs. They miss their car payment or a rent payment and that’s the end of that possession," she said. "They can go from living paycheck to paycheck to having no paycheck. This kind of pressure can lead them to make plea deals they shouldn’t be making.”

Meanwhile, O’Connor said people who are charged with more serious crimes and have more money can make bail, spending little or no time behind bars. A task force studying this problem is expected to make recommendations in April.