Addiction & Incarceration:
Ohio is a major victim of the opioid epidemic, boasting the ranking of 2nd hardest hit state nationwide.
This past September, in just 26 hours, 10 people died from overdoses in Franklin County.
Until recently, Ohio’s response to dealing with addiction was to incarcerate individuals alongside drug traffickers, hitting both with lengthy prison sentences.
In 2018, drug possession accounted for 14.5% of all Ohio’s prison commitments.
Studies show that incarceration for drug offenses does not reduce a state’s drug use rate, overdose rate, or drug arrest rate.
Senate Bill 3:
SB 3 seeks to reclassify low level possession felonies to misdemeanors. This will reduce the serious harms of heavy-handed drug enforcement on people who benefit more from treatment rather than harsh punishments.
Felony convictions serve as a collateral consequence and make employment much harder to come by.
Because of the positive reinforcement, purpose, and regiment that having a job gives, employment is one of the best drivers of positive treatment outcomes.