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Sentencing Reform: Ohio's Huge Leap Forward

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On June 29, 2011, Ohio House Bill 86 (HB 86) was signed into law. HB 86 is focused on undoing the get-tough-on crime approach of the past two decades that has led to overpopulation in the adult and juvenile correctional facilities and ineffective rehabilitation efforts; all at a high cost to taxpayers and communities. In the juvenile justice arena, HB 86 does many things including granting local juvenile courts the ability to monitor and release youth they committed to the custody of the Ohio Department of Youth Services throughout their commitment period; made commitment time for some gun offenses discretionary versus a mandatory period of time; and creates a standard for determining juvenile competency. HB 86 also allows some youth who were transferred to the adult system to return to the juvenile system and establishes a task force to examine the needs of  youth in the juvenile justice system who who suffer from serious mental illness or emotional and behavioral disorders. Guests will discuss various provisions of the bill, its potential impact, outline the historical context for the bill and its passage, and also share visions for next steps in juvenile justice reform in Ohio.

GuestsJill Beeler, Chief Counsel, Juvenile Division, Office of the Ohio Public Defender and Gabriella Celeste, Director, Child Policy, Schubert Center for Child Studies, Case Western Reserve University

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