WCBE

Criminal Justice Reforms Underway

Jul 15, 2017

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Changes are underway for how much time a person might spend in prison for a non-violent crime.

These criminal justice reforms will cut down on prison time in exchange for more community-based rehabilitation. Supporters believe this will not only save the state money but improve community safety. Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow reports.

A person sentenced to 12 months or less for fifth degree felony will no longer be sent to a state prison, if they're from one of Ohio’s 10 largest counties. Instead, they'll will be under community control.

 

Lawmakers also approved shorter sentences for technical probation violations and for those who work to rehabilitate themselves while in prison.

 

Lenore Anderson with the Alliance for Safety and Justice says this is a more balanced approach to criminal justice.

 

Anderson: “That didn’t spend all our public safety dollars on bloated prisons but instead in local treatment, diversion and community programming along with holding people accountability for those who do need to be incarcerated. You’re gonna have much better results, you’re gonna have reduced recidivism and you’re gonna save a whole bunch of money.”

 

The diversion from state prisons will start next summer.