SB 288 Includes a Range of Reforms Elevating Rehabilitation and Aiming to Reduce Recidivism
Ohio Crime Survivors Have Advocated for These Proven Approaches to Improving Safety
COLUMBUS – Today, the State Senate passed a comprehensive package of public safety proposals – SB 288 – which includes policies that prioritize rehabilitation, reduce recidivism, and improve safety in Ohio. The omnibus bill is sponsored by Senator Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and passed with widespread bipartisan support. SB 288 is supported by the Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ) and the Ohio chapter of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice (CSSJ). The bill now heads to the Ohio House of Representatives.
SB 288 provides pathways to success for incarcerated individuals looking to succeed after release, reducing the chances that they will return to prison. These proven approaches help to end cycles of victimization, and support communities most impacted by crime. Senate passage of SB 288 comes nearly a year after Governor DeWine signed SB 36 – with the support of ASJ and CSSJ – which expanded access to victim compensation to address trauma and help heal communities.
“Our communities deserve to feel safe, but for many in Ohio, crime has hit too close to home. People are seeking solutions that work – which is why we passed SB 288. This bill will improve public safety so that it works for everyone. It ensures that people in prison have the tools they need to succeed and give back to their communities when they return home. We can put an end to cycles of crime while strengthening our communities so that Ohio is safer for all,” said Senator Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville), bill sponsor for SB 288 and Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Both ASJ and CSSJ advocated for the following specific elements to be included in the omnibus bill:
- Earned Credit Expansion – SB 288 updates and expands the earned credit program, which incentivizes participation in and completion of recidivism-reducing programs like vocational training and education for people in prison. The bill allows greater access to credits for completing eligible programs, expands the cap on participation credits, and adjusts earning rates to align Ohio’s with rates and caps in other peer states.
- Transitional Control – SB 288 would improve the transitional control program by reducing barriers to eligible persons, giving them access to successful programs that improve outcomes after prison. These reforms would place the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction as the sole authority to use transitional control for less serious offenses, without the possibility of a judicial veto.
- Expedited Judicial Release – This bill strengthens and streamlines the judicial release process, allowing the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections to make recommendations after rigorously vetting people to assess who is ready to return home.
“Ohio has taken great strides in investing in rehabilitation and the needs of victims. We’ve seen the impact that these positive approaches can have in improving safety and lifting up our communities. SB 288 builds on this progress by aiming to further reduce recidivism and ensure that people can become productive citizens after release. We thank Senator Manning for continuing to stand with us and with Ohio crime victims. We look forward to moving this bill forward in the legislature and achieving true safety for everyone,” said Candace S. Williams, Ohio State Director for the Alliance for Safety and Justice.
“For many communities, these have been increasingly difficult times with trauma and pain being felt across the state,” said Elisa Bradley, Lima member of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice. “As crime survivors, we value healing and rehabilitation as pathways to safer communities. That is why we strongly support SB 288’s provisions to provide opportunities for success for those who are incarcerated, reducing the chances that they will reoffend, and making us safer along the way. Ohio has taken steps in the right direction, and this legislation will take us even further in improving safety and improving lives.”
The full text of the bill can be viewed here.
ABOUT THE ALLIANCE FOR SAFETY AND JUSTICE
The Alliance for Safety and Justice is a national organization that aims to win new safety priorities in states across the country. It partners with leaders to advance state reform through networking, coalition building, research, education, and advocacy. It also brings together diverse crime survivors to advance policies that help communities most harmed by crime and violence, as part of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice – its national network of over 100,000 crime survivors, with 5,000 members in Ohio. For more information, visit https://allianceforsafetyandjustice.org.