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NCJ Number
Date Published
110 pages
This first formal report of the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission contains a comprehensive felony sentencing plan and the commission's research on offenders, sentencing, costs, and the impact of its proposals on prisons and other correctional resources.
The plan fosters public safety and victims' rights while easing prison crowding. It gives priority to judicial discretion, yet provides for greater certainty and less disparity in sentencing. The commission favors tough and predictable prison terms for high-level felons, particularly those who repeat violent crimes, and it retains judges' discretion to send other types of offenders to prison. The commission also favors nonprison sanctions for the nonviolent offenders, who compose the vast majority of felons, provided the State makes funds available to strengthen local corrections. Overall, the commission's recommendations intend to provide immediate relief for an overcrowded prison system without jeopardizing public safety. The plan could reduce growth in the prison population by 10 percent, thus freeing $40 million each year in operating costs alone. The commission also supports the expansion of financial sanctions and making them more collectible. To ensure the plan's success once it is enacted by the General Assembly, the commission will help train practitioners, work to develop a full range of sanctions, monitor the plan, and suggest revisions. An accompanying appendix provides the details of the sentencing plan.