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Study Shows Passing Criminal Sentencing Bill Would Keep Thousands Of Ohioans Healthier

Piet van Lier, Policy Matters Ohio
Piet van Lier, Policy Matters Ohio

Two bills under consideration in the Ohio Legislature would change sentencing for low-level drug crimes to intervention over incarceration. A new study from a liberal leaning think tank shows passing those bills would improve the health of many Ohioans – especially now.

Policy Matters Ohio’s Piet Van Lier says strict drug sentencing has created overcrowding in prisons.

“It really makes prisons and jails petri dishes for transmission of disease," Van Lier says.

Van Lier notes 86 inmates and five prison staffers have died from COVID-19. He says Black Ohioans represent 13% of Ohio’s total population yet make up 47% of the those in prison.

The group hopes lawmakers will use this information to pass one of the plans soon. Both are in a Senate committee – one since last fall, the other for well over a year.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.
Jo Ingles
Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.