Ohio’s Debtors’ Prisons are Ruining Lives and Costing Communities
Update: In late April, 2013, the ACLU met with Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor on this issue. In June, the Ohio Supreme Court announced that it will increase efforts to educate local courts on how they should handle indigent defendants. These efforts will include a publication for judges, magistrates, and other court officials that lists the appropriate procedures for indigency hearings.
On April 4, 2013, the ACLU of Ohio released The Outskirts of Hope, a chronicle of blatantly illegal debtors’ prison activity across the state of Ohio and the many lives that have been impacted.
In conjunction with this report, the ACLU has sent letters to seven Ohio courts, calling for an immediate end to these illegal debtors’ prison practices. We have also sent a letter to the Ohio Supreme Court, asking them to enforce the law with statewide guidelines to stop this terrible practice in Ohio.
Something must be done! The Ohio Supreme Court governs the conduct of these local courts. They must make a clear plan for ending debtors’ prison practices in Ohio and they must hold these courts accountable for flouting the law.
You can help! Take a minute to urge the Ohio Supreme Court to end debtors’ prison practices in our state. It’s fast and easy! We’ve already prepared the language to get you started!