COLUMBUS—State Representative Peter Beck(R-Mason) today announced that the Ohio House of Representatives today concurred on Senate amendments to House Bill 86, a comprehensive set of reforms that strive to overhaul Ohio’s criminal sentencing laws.
House Bill 86 aims to more successfully address prison population growth and streamline court, jail, and prison operations. It also includes the recommendations of the Council of State Governments Justice Reinvestment Project to help address skyrocketing corrections costs and high recidivism rates.
“House Bill 86 will achieve a number of positive outcomes while reducing state costs,” said 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 address this burgeoning problem through community programs that more effectively rehabilitate low-level offenders and reduce recidivism rates at a more affordable cost to the taxpayers. It will also improve probation supervision and reduce duplication of resources.
House Bill 86 will now move to the Governor’s Office, where it awaits the signature of Governor John Kasich.
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