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Obhof Says Sentencing Reform A Tough Balancing Act

A report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio says nearly 1 out of 8 bills introduced by state lawmakers either creates a new crime or expands sentences. The leader of the Ohio Senate is pushing back on claims lawmakers are to blame for prison overcrowding and spending.  Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.

Senate President Larry Obhof says criminal sentencing reform is one of his top agenda items. But while he says he wants to relieve prison overcrowding, save money and help people get out of prison and live productively, he says that doesn’t mean lawmakers will stop cracking down on dangerous criminals.

“We are distinguishing, to the extent possible, between people who are legitimately bad actors – who are predators, who are hurting our families, who are hurting our communities – from people who’ve made a couple of bad choices, or maybe a lot of bad choices, but who aren’t doing inherently bad things and who aren’t trying to hurt other people.”

A drug sentencing bill will be Senate Bill 3 to demonstrate its importance, but the final version is still being drafted so there are no details on what it would do.



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