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August 18, 2010

ACLU of Ohio produces major report on prison growth and problems

As detailed in this article from the Columbus Dispatch, which is headlined "ACLU: Ohio prisons in crisis: Senators of both parties agree that system is costly, overcrowded," the ACLU has a new and timely report on Ohio's prison costs and problems. Here is how the Dispatch article gets started:

The American Civil Liberties Union and state Sens. Nina Turner, a Cleveland Democrat, and Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican, are at odds on many issues. But the unlikely trio joined forces yesterday to pitch enactment of reforms to heal Ohio's "overcrowded, overused and underfunded" prison system.

"We are at a crisis in the state of Ohio," said James Hardiman, Ohio ACLU legal director, in releasing "Reform Cannot Wait," a report examining the cost and impact of prison incarceration and spending from 1991 to the present.

The report summarized the findings of other reports over nearly two decades and reached the same conclusions: Ohio sends far too many people to prison, spends an inordinate amount of money on adult and youth prisons, and has done little to reduce crime and recidivism....

Seitz said the state's 1996 "truth-in-sentencing" law failed miserably, largely because lawmakers added dozens of tough-on-crime sentence "enhancements" that increased the overall average time served instead of reducing it as intended. "We created layer after layer of additional sentences," he said.

Seitz is the sponsor of Senate Bill 22, which would funnel some low-level, nonviolent offenders to community treatment programs and give offenders time off their sentences for successfully participating in education and treatment programs behind bars. It would initially save about $13.7 million in operating costs, but it would help avoid billions in spending if it prevents the state from having to build new prisons because of severe overcrowding, he said.

The ACLU of Ohio's press release about its report is available here, and the full 20-page report titled "Reform Cannot Wait" is available at this link.

August 18, 2010 at 08:46 AM | Permalink


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An ACLU report on prison has the same objectivity as a Donald Rumsfeld report on the Iraq war.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 18, 2010 10:24:37 AM

Otis, on the surface & as a conservative I would've agreed with your comment. However, my family is learning first hand about the injustice in the judicial system.

Hysteria has created overreaching laws regarding sex offenders that you wouldn't believe.

Did you know that a first time offender with no criminal record & no victim will go to prison, have a felony & be ostracized by society with a lifetime requirement to register on the sex offender registry.

I'm not advocating consequences for violent offenders & those with deviant behavior.

The laws are putting young adults in prison for youthful exploration with sex.

Imagine how many people who are 17 having consensual sex with a 15 year old that are being prosecuted as sex offenders. What did you do when you were young? Perfect decisions are the new legal requirement in our society.

However, educators are not sharing the legal requirements, even when they are sharing the consequences during sex education classes in school.

The internet isn't helping. Gone are the days of young adults, those in their early twenties viewing "girlie" magazines.

Now they have horrible access to sick stuff beyond our wildest dreams. These same young people are exploring what is available to them online with a click of a mouse.

The police don't help because they use this vulnerability to entrap young men. I have heard that young men, especially under 25 years old, think of only two things 1. Sex and 2. Sex.

Research indicates that men are not cognitively developed as an adult until the age of 25 years old. in fact the Car Insurance company was the first to really understand the implications if this research.

Before you throw out comments that appear to be partisan I would sincerely recommend you get the facts.

Please read the full report. Get the facts about the injustice of harsh sex offender laws. You won't believe what you read.

Check out Citizens For Change In America.org

Check out sosen.org

Check out freebrandon.com

This is a young boy with no criminal record sentenced to 60 years in prison for having consensual sex as a 17 year old with his 15 year old girlfriend.

I wonder how many lawmakers who are imposing this unjust laws would be in prison themselves when they were young?

Maybe even you too. Please get the facts. We need to stop ruining the lives if our youth. The sex offender registry has proven to protect not one innocent child.

From a conservative mom

Posted by: michele | Sep 6, 2010 5:00:24 PM

My father was convicted of computer crimes e did not commit. Scioto county Ohio put him in prison with evidence that was corrupt by the cheif of police. It's his first offence and he has no criminal record. He got 25 years. The first offender laws should havr him released.

Posted by: russell tackett | Dec 22, 2010 8:16:47 AM

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