criminal sentencing

A newly announced diversion program by the Columbus City Attorney's office is designed to break the cycle of repeat offenders by looking at the causes of their crimes. 

Columbus City Council last night approved legislation reducing the penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana. 

Cincinnati City Council has voted to decriminalize up to 100 grams of marijuana possession for recreational use.  

Columbus City Council has scheduled a public hearing this  evening on its goal of lowering the criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

A new report on changes to Ohio sentencing laws says reform efforts may have saved 500 million dollars over several years but more is needed to reduce the state's prison population. 

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.

Ohio Public Radio

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio is again pushing for criminal justice reform with a new report on what it calls the "Statehouse to prison pipeline".

Ohio voters Tuesday rejected state issue one by a 2-1 margin.

Supporters of state issue one on the November ballot say the constitutional amendment will steer non-violent drug offenders into treatment.

The state budget office says if voters approve Issue 1 in November, it will cost local communities more money for a variety of reasons. 

Republican Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor is concerned about a constitutional amendment on the fall ballot. 

Tokes family via

The Ohio House has passed a bill to reform criminal sentencing and strengthen probation monitoring. 

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants prosecutors to get tough on people convicted of drug crimes. He's ordering federal prosecutors to, quote, "charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense."

Updated at 12:10 p.m. ET

In a memo to staff, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered federal prosecutors to "charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense" — a move that marks a significant reversal of Obama-era policies on low-level drug crimes.

The two-page memo, which was publicly released Friday, lays out a policy of strict enforcement that rolls back the comparatively lenient stance established by Eric Holder, one of Sessions' predecessors under President Barack Obama.

Ohio Public Radio

Groups hoping to reform criminal sentencing laws accuse legislators of being over-reliant on bills that create new penalties and extend sentences.

Newly proposed legislation would keep on parole Ohio prisoners who commit technical violations like missing mandatory meetings.

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled prior juvenile convictions cannot be used to increase the severity of charges or the length of prison sentences those individuals receive as adults.

Associated Press

President Obama's latest round of commutations of prisoners serving time for drug offenses includes a Groveport man sentenced to life in federal prison for selling crack cocaine.

A new report by the non-profit Annie E. Casey foundation shows 271-thousand Ohio children have at least one incarcerated parent, the fourth-highest number in the nation.

Ohio Public Radio

The ACLU of Ohio and the Ohio Justice and Policy Center have released a report detailing recommendations for criminal justice reform.

The Ohio Senate is considering a bill aimed at saving money and the amount of time some inmates spend in jail before sentencing.

Policy groups on the right and left say Ohio lawmakers are undermining attempts to reduce the state's prison population by continuing to introduce tough-on-crime bills that put more people behind bars.

A bipartisan coalition including Americans for Tax Reform and the American Civil Liberties Union has launched a new effort to reduce Ohio's prison population and find alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenders.

Legislators To Consider Criminal Sentencing Reform

May 19, 2015

While much of the focus is still on the budget, Ohio lawmakers are working on many other issues they’d like to address before summer break. As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, some legislators are taking a serious look at reforming the state’s criminal sentencing structure.