For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 2, 2022
Contact on behalf of Alliance for Safety and Justice: [email protected]
OHIO LAWMAKERS INTRODUCE WIDE-RANGING PUBLIC SAFETY PACKAGE TO HELP END CYCLES OF CRIME AND PRIORITIZE REHABILITATION
SB 288 Includes a Suite of Reforms Aimed at Encouraging Incarcerated Individuals to Take Responsibility for Their Rehabilitation and Reduce Recidivism
Ohio Crime Survivors Support These Proven Approaches to Improving Safety
COLUMBUS – Today, Senator Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville) – Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee – introduced a sweeping package of public safety proposals that include policies that prioritize rehabilitation, help stop cycles of crime, and reduce recidivism in Ohio. 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 omnibus bill includes various provisions that ensure incarcerated individuals take ownership of their actions, while providing a pathway to success and reducing the chances that they will return to prison. Altogether, these proposals will help prevent future victimization and strengthen communities that are disproportionately impacted by crime. The introduction of these reforms follows a recent victory for crime survivors in Ohio with the signing of SB 36, which expanded access to victim compensation to address trauma and help heal communities.
“2021 was a trying year for many across the country and across Ohio. The impact of violence and crime has once again exposed the flaws of the public safety system – but we have an opportunity to vastly improve it and make Ohio safer for all. SB 288 adopts proven approaches to ensuring that the incarcerated earn the tools to succeed and reduce the chances that they will return behind bars. Ultimately, these reforms will save taxpayer money and allow us to focus our resources on addressing violence and crime in our communities. I look forward to working with my colleagues in passing this bill and positioning Ohio as the national leader in achieving true safety,” 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 – Increases the maximum credit that can be earned by incarcerated individuals who participate and complete rehabilitation programs, which help them succeed once they are released.
- Expedited Judicial Release – Establishes an expedited judicial release process, including in situations when the governor has declared a state of emergency, and allows the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections to initiate a presumptive review process by recommending candidates for judicial release.
- Transitional Control – Places 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.
“In recent months, Ohio has taken historic steps in elevating the needs of crime victims and working to address violence in our communities. SB 288 builds upon these successes by moving away from over-incarceration, and focusing on approaches that have been proven to reduce crime and strengthen communities,” said Shakyra Diaz, Chief of Staff for the Alliance for Safety and Justice.
“This omnibus bill aims to stop cycles of crime, reduce recidivism, and help people with past convictions get their lives back on track after they serve their sentence. We thank Senator Manning for elevating the voices of victims and pursuing reforms that can truly transform how Ohio addresses crime and trauma in Ohio. We urge the legislature to stand with us in support of this critical bill,” said Candace S. Williams, Ohio State Director for Alliance for Safety and Justice.
“As a crime survivor, my priority is to stop future cycles of victimization while making sure that my community feels safer – SB 288 achieves both,” said India Brown, Ohio member of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice. “It’s clear that something must be done to improve safety, and I am confident that this bill takes the right approach in stopping cycles of crime and making sure that people take responsibility for their actions – striking the right balance between safety and fairness. On behalf of Ohio crime victims, I thank Senator Manning for his continued support of our needs. SB 288 will make Ohio safer for everyone.”
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 42,000 crime survivors, with thousands of members in Ohio. For more information, visit https://allianceforsafetyandjustice.org.