Tell Ohio Legislators to Support Bail Reform

The justice system should be focused on both equity and protecting the community.
 
Senate Bill 182 and House Bill 315 on Bail Reform, two companion bills recently introduced in Ohio, are an important part of ensuring the justice system is focused on both.
 
The current cash bail system releases defendants based on their financial resources and not the risk they pose to the community. Basically, if you don't have enough money, you can't get out despite the risk level of offense.
 
 
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: 

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. 

      

Thank you for your support! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out!

  


ARCH Updates

ARCH is raising money to get returning citizens furnishings from the Furniture Bank!

Returning citizens face steep barriers in finding housing after incarceration. If they are able to get housing, it can be a real struggle to fill it with even minimum furnishings.

With your donation, you'll be helping returning citizens make their residence feel like a real home.


 

The Brown Couch with Vanita Nevis

Sit down with Vanita Nevis - Program Coordinator, ARCH - as she welcomes industry professionals, returning citizens, and long-time friends to her home for a conversation on reentry.

Her first guest is Weslee Pullen. Weslee has a long history in reentry, and is extremely knowledgeable in his field. Additionally, he is certified as a Mental Health Provider, a Chemical Dependency Counselor, and a Peer Support Specialist Supervisor.

We hope you all enjoy this episode of The Brown Couch and stay tuned for future guests!

   


Additional Local Reentry Events and Updates 

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."

  

All in Community UMC | Saturday Circles - Family Incarceration Impact

March 22 | 10am - 11:30am on Zoom

This restorative space is for community members who are living with a loved one’s incarceration or want to become a better ally to friends and loved ones who are incarcerated. This Saturday Circle offers you an understanding, safe, empathetic community. The goal of this Listening Circle is to create space for shared emotional connection about the impact of incarceration in families. We aim to support individuals and help communities that have been harmed by exploring the collective experience together.


 

All in Community UMC | Ministry Monday - Listening Circles & Restorative Practices

March 24 @ 7:00 PM-8:30 PM on Zoom

This session introduces participants to the art of Restorative Practices and the tool of Listening Circles. Restorative Practices are intentional, everyday responses we can provide to reduce conflict, resolve broken relationships and create healthy communities where all members feel heard and included. Listening Circles are a practical restorative practice to explore emotional connection around difficult topics and are useful in surfacing fear, shame, and stigma that keep people on the outside of the community.

    

 

Thanks!

Wendy Tarr
Director, Vincentian Ohio Action Network | ARCH Reentry

 

                

http://www.archreentry.com/


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