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Government/Politics

Criminal Justice Reform Proposals Could Save Millions In State Money

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Andy Chow
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Stephen JohnsonGrove, Ohio Justice and Policy Center, at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.

Last year many issues seemed to divide heavily along party lines, but one topic that still brought Republicans and Democrats together was criminal justice reform. Now there’s a push to continue that effort in 2017. 

This year advocates say there’s still a strong appetite to cut down on the amount of people sent to prison and reform sentencing laws.

Stephen JohnsonGrove with the Ohio Justice and Policy Center says one step is to loosen the penalties for breaking probation, such as when an offender misses a meeting or doesn’t get a job in time.

“And so a petty probation violation does not mean that we, the taxpayers of Ohio, should be paying $25,000 to keep a person in a cage,” said JohnsonGrove.

Criminal justice reform is enticing to liberals and conservatives because of the ability to reform harsh sentencing for non-violent drug crimes and to ease the fiscal burden on Ohio’s prison system.