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Beck Announces Passage of Bill to Enact Criminal Sentencing Reforms
Legislation addresses prison overcrowding, promotes effective rehabilitation

COLUMBUS—State Representative Peter Beck (R-Mason) has announced that the Ohio House of Representatives passed a comprehensive set of reforms that aim to revise Ohio’s sentencing law, address prison population growth, and streamline court, jail and prison operations.

House Bill 86 also includes the recommendations of the Council of State Governments Justice Reinvestment Project, an effort to help states address skyrocketing corrections expenditures and high recidivism rates among individuals upon release.

“House Bill 86 will achieve a number of positive outcomes while reducing state costs,” stated Rep. Beck. “The bill, among other things, expands eligibility for treatment in lieu of conviction to persons who mental illness or developmental disability contributed to their offense. In addition, House Bill 86 gives preference to sentencing persons who fail to pay child support to alternative community sanctions.”

According to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Ohio’s prison population is projected to increase to more than 40 percent over capacity by 2015. Currently, state prisons are filled to 33 percent over capacity, holding nearly 13,000 more individuals than they were designed to hold. House Bill 86 would successfully address this burgeoning problem through community programs that more effectively rehabilitate offenders and reduce recidivism rates at a more affordable cost for the taxpayers. It will also improve probation supervision and reduce duplication of resources.

Almost every major paper in the state of Ohio has featured positive commentary about sentencing reform, including the Columbus Dispatch, the Akron Beacon Journal and the Toledo Blade.

Having passed the House, House Bill 86 will now move to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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