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Thu Feb 23, 2017, 06:29 PM

Ohio bill could reduce prison time for nonviolent offenders who violate parole

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Nonviolent offenders who violate their parole for missing a meeting or another technical violation wouldn't automatically be sent to prison, under a bipartisan bill introduced in the Ohio Senate.

Senate Bill 66 would also remove the one-year minimum prison sentence for a parole violator and allow judges to end such prison terms before the currently imposed one-year minimum. And the bill would remove some barriers for people convicted of fourth- and fifth-degree felonies to have their records sealed.

The reforms are intended to reduce the state's high prison population and focus more on rehabilitation for nonviolent offenders, many who are charged with drug possession.

"Not every violation of the law necessitates a stay in prison, and we're trying to do right by the citizens of Ohio by creating a justice system that rehabilitates and reforms those who have offended, not just places them behind bars," Sen. Charleta Tavares, a Columbus Democrat, said during a Wednesday news conference.

Read more: http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2017/02/ohio_bill_would_reduce_prison.html

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