Sign the petition to show your support for much-needed reforms.
Recent polling data shows that 75% of Ohioans support criminal justice reform and 70% support reform of Ohio's cash bail system.
In Ohio, an individual may have the opportunity to buy their freedom through a bond schedule. However, if they can’t afford a bond, they’ll likely remain in jail.
While this is understandable for individuals who pose a flight risk or are a threat to the community, it isn’t the case for the majority of people. Our state needs to transition to a pretrial system based on an individual’s risk, not his or her financial resources.
Once in front of a judge, it’s again possible that the individual’s release will be contingent on their ability to post cash bail – typically, those with the necessary resources are allowed to go home, while those without the required funds remain jailed. Ability to pay, not risk, is the primary factor in freedom or detention.
This unnecessary pre-trial incarceration creates long-lasting effects for Ohioans, their families, and communities. Those who remain jailed until they are able to stand trial are put at risk of losing their job, their home, and even custody of their children.
To make matters worse, these effects can occur even if someone is ultimately found innocent.
Ohioans who remain jailed pre-trial are also more likely to get convicted, sentenced to prison, or their sentences are longer compared with those charged with the same crime and released pre-trial.
This undermines our constitutional rights; we are innocent until proven guilty. Pre-trial reform is a simple change to our system that goes a long way for due process, taxpayers, and public safety. The time is now for legislators in Columbus to pass true pre-trial reform.
Sign the petition to join the majority of Ohioans and show your support for much-needed criminal justice and bail reforms!