In Ohio, an individual may have the opportunity to buy their freedom through paying a bond (also known as bail). However, if they can’t afford a bond, they’ll likely remain in jail.
Typically, those with the necessary resources can go home, while those without the required funds remain jailed. Ability to pay, not risk, is the primary factor in freedom or detention.
Those who remain jailed until they can 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, with longer sentences compared to 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.
I urge you to support these much-needed criminal justice and pre-trial reforms by voting YES on Senate Bill 182 and House Bill 315!