Alva E. Campbell Jr. is scheduled to be executed at 10 a.m. on November 15th at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, OH. It will be the third execution this year in Ohio, following a moratorium on the death penalty after a severely botched execution took place in 2014.
What is State Issue 1?
Also known as Marsy’s Law or the Ohio Crime Victim Bill of Rights (OCVBR), it would amend Article I, Section 10a of the Ohio Constitution to establish enforceable victim rights within the Ohio Constitution. Voters will decide this issue at the November 7, 2017 election.
Historically, a judge set bail based on a single consideration: whether a person would reappear in court to answer for the alleged crime. It wasn’t until later in the 20th century that nationwide reforms allowed judges to consider public safety as a reason to deny bail.
Cities across the state are using an old philosophy to address the current opioid crisis: charge drug addicts with a crime. Specifically in Ohio, cities are charging overdose victims with inducing panic, which includes a first degree misdemeanor, up to 180 days in jail and a $1000 fine.
By Dan Rogan
“Information is a Right: The Press’s Role in Illuminating Mass Incarceration and Race”
With Keynote Speaker Jamil Smith
The 2017 Belle and Ed Likover Lecture
Sunday, October 22, 2 p.m.
Cleveland State University
Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Center, Annex
2000 Prospect Ave.
Our two international interns from Humanity In Action, Julie Vainqueur and Lukasz Niparko, articulate their responses to Ava DuVernay’s powerful documentary, 13th.
Julie Vainqueur, writing from a French, Afrocaribbean perspective.
I want to communicate about issues that matter, to listen to the unheard, amplify their voices, and to educate others about the social injustices of the world.
Every day, people with felony and misdemeanor convictions are released from jails and prisons across the state, ready to start over and become upstanding, contributing members of society. For many of these individuals, reality kicks in and they come to realize that their punishment isn’t truly over.
By Emma Keeshin
With so many candidates for Cleveland mayor and City Council this year, it can be hard to keep track of all of them. But something you must keep track of is their commitment to police reform in Cleveland.
That’s because Cleveland is in year two of a multi-year police reform process, known as the consent decree, which is overseen by a federal judge after the U.S.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke in Columbus, Ohio on Wednesday to discuss the opioid epidemic both on the state and national level. It is no exaggeration to call it an epidemic. In 2016 alone, over 4100 Ohioans died from opioid overdoses, marking a 36% increase from 2015’s record-breaking number.
Once again, Ohio is at the heart of it all. There is perhaps nowhere in the nation grappling with the opioid crisis as much as the Buckeye State. In fact, leaders recently filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies, alleging they were misleading the public about the addictiveness of painkillers.
“On Wednesday, June 14th, Sheriff Jim Neil declared a state of emergency at the Hamilton County Justice Center due to jail overcrowding. The ACLU of Ohio has taken bail reform head on, and it is rapidly becoming one of our main criminal justice focus areas.
The only good thing about Washington Court House arresting naloxone-revived opioid users is that it shows everything wrong with criminal justice today. Since February, this town nestled between Columbus and Cincinnati has been charging overdose victims with “Inducing Panic” after emergency responders revive them.
While President Trump’s executive order against immigrants from six predominantly Muslim countries is in the courts, it is worthwhile to remind ourselves that the stated reasons for immigration reform—protecting against terrorism from the Middle East—are not supported by the facts.
The ACLU of Ohio has been fighting “prisons for profit” for years. The trend to privatize prisons as a method to reduce costs has been ineffective, and only contributes to the surging rates of mass incarceration, with Ohio prisons at 130% of capacity.
Gary Daniels, chief lobbyist for the ACLU of Ohio, is a realistic optimist—a valuable trait for the rare dissenting voice against mass incarceration in the Ohio Statehouse.
Our powerful new report, Statehouse to Prison Pipeline 2017, sprang from Gary’s everyday experience listening to legislators, police and prosecutors as they earnestly justify destructive policies: sending more people to prison, for more reasons, for longer periods.
On Friday, January 27, ACLU of Ohio senior policy director Mike Brickner spoke to participants at a symposium on criminal justice reform, which was held at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. Brickner touched on a familiar but too often ignored problem: Ohio’s growing prison population.
Sentenced to ten years, out in two. Outrageous!
The myth that prisoners serve small fractions of sentences is one of the most destructive falsehoods driving the tragedy of mass incarceration. In Ohio and elsewhere, the use of parole and probation has shrunk to levels that can only be described as harmful to us all.
After bringing the legendary Selma marches to the big screen, Ava Duvernay returns with a new Netflix documentary, 13th, telling the true story behind the 13th amendment. Passed in 1865, it declared that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, nor any place subject to their jurisdiction.” The amendment was one of the most important in history, yet its wording enabled slavery to evolve in America, allowing discrimination against African Americans to continue within our justice system.
Advances in media and technology have brought desperately needed visibility to the pressing issue of police violence. Visibility alone, however, cannot create long-term accountability and transparency in law enforcement. That is why the successful implementation of the Deaths In Custody Reporting Act (DICRA) is crucial.
Attorney Andrea Burton didn’t walk into a local Youngstown courtroom with a large banner or poster — she simply had a small metal button with the words “Black Lives Matter” on her lapel. That was enough for Judge Robert Milich to sentence her to five days in the Mahoning County Jail because she refused to remove the pin.
By Dan Rogan
Orange is the New Black – the binge-worthy, Peabody Award Winning, Netflix series – returns with Season 4 on June 17. Last season, the fictional Litchfield Correctional Facility faced closing its doors due to lack of funding and is soon after taken over by a private prison corporation.
Earlier this month, members of the Ohio General Assembly gathered to receive information about capital punishment in Ohio. The Joint Legislative Study Committee on Victims’ Rights listened to a representative from the Office of the Attorney General while he discussed the problems Ohio is having obtaining the needed drugs to execute people.
By Shakyra Diaz
I recently conducted a training for a group of incarcerated women which outlined what to do if you’re stopped by the police. As we discussed how to file a complaint if treated unfairly by an officer, one woman declared, “No one believes a felon.”
The other women in the room nodded their heads in affirmation.
By Steve David
If a person living with HIV in Ohio is convicted of a crime, they may automatically receive a harsher sentence just because they have HIV. These punishments are applied without regard to the facts of how HIV can be spread. Even worse, they actively hinder efforts to prevent new infections.
By Shakyra Diaz
This piece is also featured by the Vera Institute.
John and Sam were trapped in a vicious cycle of incarceration. When money was scarce, John would make Sam’s court payment instead of his own so she could stay out of jail and care for their child.
By Dan Rogan
On Monday, November 9th, 2015 the ACLU of Ohio held a press conference to launch its newest and powerful report, In Jail & In Debt: Ohio’s Pay-to-Stay Fees.
Senior Policy Director Mike Brickner spoke briefly to the media about what these fees are and their negative and lasting impact.
In Ohio, we have a problem with prison overcrowding. As a recent Department of Justice Report shows, Ohio’s prison population ranks sixth among all states. Last year, Ohio only managed to reduce its prison population by 0.4%, which is exactly 210 people.
By Dan Rogan
“We must talk seriously about criminal justice reform because of how close it is connected to racial justice,” said Piper Kerman, discussing the intrinsic relationship between the two issues. Piper’s words struck a chord over 300 attendees at this year’s Ed Likover Memorial Lecture.
Without ever being charged with a crime, you can have your property permanently seized and sold for profit to subsidize law enforcement agency budgets in Ohio. This practice, known as civil asset forfeiture, gives law enforcement agencies the ability to take any asset–such as cash, vehicles, real estate and other personal property–without a warrant, a conviction, or even criminal charges.
By Shakyra Diaz
A criminal conviction damages a person’s present life and future prospects. From employment to housing, higher education enrollment and student loans, a criminal conviction creates so many barriers to opportunities. Given those startling facts, we can agree that a state prison system operating at 130 percent capacity is unhealthy for those incarcerated and for the state that put them there.