Bail Call

 
 

We are asking you to call your representatives and voice your support for Senate Bill 182 and Senate Bill 315 on Bail Reform. | Call Script*

*Check to see if the person is already a co-sponsor of the bill.

Please click here to view the House Criminal Justice Committee Members and the Senate Judiciary Committee Members, where House Bill 315 and Senate Bill 182 are currently in committee.

  • If they already co-sponsor the bail reform legislation, thank them!
  • If they are not a co-sponsor of the bail reform legislation, ask them to support the bill.
  • If they are the CHAIR or of the committee, ask to prioritize this bill for hearings!

"Hello, my name is ____ . I am calling to thank (Senator Name or Representative Name) for co-sponsoring legislation on bail reform! 

OR  I am calling to urge (Senator Name or Representative Name) to support legislation on bail reform! 

Supporting Points:

  • I believe in a justice system focused on equity and protecting the community.
  • The current cash bail system releases defendants based on their financial resources and not their danger to society.
  • Non-violent individuals spending days or even months in jail awaiting their trial, and potentially violent individuals being released into the community.
  • Waiting in jail pretrial can result in job loss, custody loss of children, and being almost four times more likely to be sentenced to prison than defendants released prior to trial.

You could also add a personal story and/or share that you are affiliated with ARCH or another group/organization. 

 


More Details: 

Our current system disenfranchises poor people, a disproportionate amount of which are people of color.
 
Other cash bail facts:
  • Pretrial detainees make up 70% of the US jail population, which is about 536,000 people.
  • These people have not been convicted of any crime, and might be in jail for days, weeks, or even years.
  • This situation can lead to Ohioans taking plea deals to get out of jail while wealthier people can release themselves and go to trial.

We need your help to make sure Bail Reform passes so that the justice system can become a more equitable space!

  • These bills require a hearing within 48 hours to determine conditions of release.
  • If a judge hands down a cash bail, the defendant will be screened for his or her monthly income, minus household expenses. The bail would not exceed 25% of the defendant's "extra" income — so that if a defendant has $1,000 left after paying monthly bills, cash bail would not exceed $250.
  • The statute would not apply to violent crimes or violent accused criminals, who must go through a special hearing to determine whether they are eligible for cash bail at all — and are often held without bail.

Sources: 

 

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Bail Reform

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Bipartisan Bail Reform Bills Introduced in Ohio Statehouse!

From the Columbus Dispatch:

"A bipartisan group of Ohio lawmakers says those folks can sit in jail for days, weeks or even months while they wait on a trial. They lose jobs. They lose homes. They lose custody of their children. 

Sometimes they plead guilty to a lesser crime – even if they believe themselves to be innocent – just to get out, Sen. Rob McColley, R-Napoleon, said.

That's why McColley, Leland and 48 other state lawmakers have signed onto two companion bills in the Ohio House and Senate that would overhaul how courts use cash bail across the state."

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Ohio Criminal Justice Wins in 2020

Ohio makes big leaps forward on criminal justice changes

Springfield News-Sun | by Laura Bischoff | Feb 7, 2021

Advocates for criminal justice reforms scored multiple wins in the closing weeks of 2020 that they say will give thousands of Ohioans a second chance.

Incarcerated pregnant women will no longer be shackled to hospital beds as they deliver their babies. Poor people will be able to perform community service as a way to get their driver’s licenses back instead of paying huge fees. Ohioans who made mistakes will have an easier time getting professional licenses to advance their careers. People suffering from serious mental illnesses at the time of the crime will not be executed. Teens who commit terrible crimes will serve their time but will still have the hope of making parole someday.

 

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SB 3: Reform Drug Sentencing Laws

Senate Bill 3 reclassifies some low-level, drug possession crimes from felonies to misdemeanors to ensure that people struggling with addiction receive treatment rather than jail time.

Tell the members of the House Criminal Justice Committee to pass Senate Bill 3!

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SB 256: Regards sentencing offenders under 18 when committed offense

We're hearing several committee members aren't sure how to vote on SB 256. SB 256 would ban life imprisonment without parole for children under 18 The bill has likely one final hearing to come to a full vote of the committee at next week's hearing, otherwise, it might have to start over in the next General Assembly. 
Tell members to vote yes!
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Death Penalty Update

The Ohio Senate voted 27-3 Wednesday (12/9/20) to pass HB 136. legislation that ends the death penalty for persons who suffered from a “serious mental illness” at the time they committed murder. 
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