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Innovation Ohio · June 14, 2021

Innovation Ohio Endorses Bills to Reform Ohio’s Cruel Cash Bail System

COLUMBUS — Today, Innovation Ohio (IO), Ohio’s progressive politics and policy hub, announced their official endorsement of two bipartisan bills to reform Ohio’s cash bail system: HB 315 and SB 182.

“Every day, thousands of Ohioans who have not been convicted of a crime sit in jail, simply because they can’t afford bail. They can’t work, pay bills, or take care of their kids. At the same time, rich Ohioans accused of the same crime get to pay to go home. These bills give us a real chance to finally fix Ohio’s cruel, racist, classist cash bail system,” said Desiree Tims, President and CEO of Innovation Ohio.

Ohio’s current cash bail system too often has devastating, long-term impacts on Ohioans’ lives. In addition to the potential loss of their job, home, and children, studies show that individuals who cannot afford cash bail receive harsher punishments than those who can pay to go home. Bail reform will help ensure no one is treated differently under the law simply because of their financial status.

Bail reform not only saves lives, it saves money. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio performed a fiscal analysis and found that these bills would save Ohio $199 and $264 million every single year.

Bail reform would help address racial disparities in Ohio’s court system. Studies show that Black Ohioans spend far more time in jail pre-trial (before being convicted of any crime) than white Ohioans.

Bail reform is also incredibly popular. An astounding 77% of Ohioans believe individuals should receive a hearing in front of a judge to determine release options within 48 hours of arrest/detention.

Innovation Ohio encourages all Ohioans to testify (or submit written-only testimony) in support of these bills. The first opportunity to testify will be this Wednesday, June 16th, at 3:00 pm.

IO has created a how-to guide for submitting bail reform testimony to help make the process simple and accessible for the public.

Tagged in these Policy Areas: Statehouse Update