Groups hoping to reform criminal sentencing law accuse legislators of being over-reliant on bills that create new penalties and extend sentences.
The ACLU releases an analysis of the 1,000 plus bills introduced in the Ohio House and Senate last session. According to the report, about 9% of those bills had some type of provision that either created new criminal penalties or strengthened existing ones.
Kari Bloom with the Ohio Public Defender’s office says lawmakers should focus on the underlying problems.
“Instead of ‘why did this happen?’ We’re going to say if that happens again we’re going to punish it more.”
Republicans and Democrats in the Statehouse have acknowledged that Ohio has a problem with overcrowded prisons. A bipartisan, criminal justice reform commission is expected to release its recommendations soon.