Criminal Justice

  • 08.13.20

    Voter Suppression Lessons Learned from the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment

    By

    Woman at the ballot box

     

     

    August 18 of this year will be 100 years since the last of the 36 ratifying states that were required to secure adoption were confirmed, and the Nineteenth Amendment’s ratification to include voting for women came to be.

    Led by activists Susan B.

  • 08.11.20

    Innocent Until Proven Guilty? Not in Ohio

    By

    Students walking to school

     
     
    Ever think about what might happen if you get arrested upon suspicion of committing a crime?  Our Constitution guarantees we are innocent until proven guilty, right?  Perhaps not.

    Let’s go back to the basics and talk about bail… So, what is bail? 

  • 08.06.20

    7 Rights Every Student Should Know Before Returning to School

    By

    Students walking to school

     

     

    *Explanations of students’ rights in this article are not legal advice. If you feel that your rights as a student may have been violated, please speak to and/or obtain a lawyer.

    Though it seems like we likely won’t find out about whether we’ll physically be able to return to schools, colleges, and universities until it is literally time to begin classes, the fact of the matter is that as college and high, middle, and elementary students, we must know our rights so that if they are ever infringed upon, we can stand up for them.

  • 07.27.20

    Police and Schools – a Bond Needing to be Broken

    By

    Police and Schools

     

    Since the end of May, protests have rocked the nation after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, resulting in incredible responses on many levels. They have included Confederate statues coming down, Minneapolis agreeing to dismantle their police force, and companies across many different areas committing to equity and racial justice.

  • 07.27.20

    An Open Letter to Judges in Cuyahoga County

    By

    Gavel, Scale, and Writing A Letter

     

    An Open Letter to Judges in Cuyahoga County,

    Ohio is bearing the weight of a crisis right now: not just the crisis of COVID-19, but the crisis of cash bail. Through a system that prizes money over justice many residents of Cuyahoga County are faced with a crippling alternative when they are detained: either pay an exorbitant release fee, or spend the rest of your pretrial time behind bars.

  • 07.26.20

    More Ohio counties should immediately expand their ‘cite and release’ policing policies

    By

    Gavel

    This originally appeared on Cleveland.com on Jul 26, 2020.

    CLEVELAND — Our country is at a crossroads, forced to recognize that the police charged with keeping us safe often act as state-sanctioned vehicles of violence disproportionately perpetrated against communities of color.

  • 07.20.20

    Sub. House Bill 680 – Opponent Testimony

    By

     

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ opponent testimony on Sub House Bill 680. This was delivered to the Senate Government Oversight & Reform Committee on July 21, 2020.


    To Chairman Coley, Vice Chair Huffman, Ranking Member Craig, and members of the Senate Government Oversight & Reform Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present opponent testimony on Substitute House Bill 680.

  • 06.25.20

    Police Departments Aren’t the Only Criminal Legal Institution Stealing Black Lives

    By

    Ohio Supreme Court

    Around the world, people are taking to the streets to call out the state-sanctioned violence against people of color that has been normalized and protected in this country since its inception. While police continue to respond to protests against police violence with police violence, other parts of our criminal legal system continue to steal the lives of people of color through different means.

  • 06.16.20

    My COVID-19 Experience on the Inside of Marion Correctional Institution

    By

    Person washing their hands

     

    It was never a matter of if COVID-19 would infiltrate Marion Correctional Institute, but when. While the state and outside world braced itself for the coronavirus, this administration chose not to take the proper steps early on that would have ensured the safety of its prison population and staff.

  • 06.10.20

    House Bill 381 – Opponent Testimony

    By

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ opponent testimony on House Bill 381. This was delivered to the House Criminal Justice Committee on June 9, 2020.


    To Chairman Lang, Vice Chair Plummer, Ranking Member Leland, and members of the House Criminal Justice Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present opponent testimony on House Bill 381.

  • 06.08.20

    House Bill 164 – Opponent Testimony

    By

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ opponent testimony on House Bill 164. This was delivered to the Senate Education Committee on June 9, 2020.


    To Chairwoman Lehner, Vice Chair Brenner, Ranking Member Fedor, and members of the Senate Education Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present opponent testimony on House Bill 164.

  • 06.08.20

    Senate Concurrent Resolution 14 – Proponent Testimony

    By

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ proponent testimony on Senate Concurrent Resolution 14. This was delivered to the Senate Health, Human Services, & Medicaid Committee on June 9, 2020.


    To Chairman Burke, Vice Chair Huffman, Ranking Member Antonio, and members of the Senate Health, Human Services & Medicaid Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present proponent testimony on Senate Concurrent Resolution 14.

  • 06.03.20

    House Bill 680 – Opponent Testimony

    By

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ opponent testimony on House Bill 680. This was delivered to the House State & Local Government Committee on June 3, 2020.


    To Chairman Wiggam, Vice Chair Stephens, Ranking Member Kelly, and members of the House State & Local Government Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present opponent testimony on House Bill 680.

  • 06.01.20

    There Are Good and Bad Ways to Decrease Jail Populations

    By

    Jail Yard Gate Open

     

    Ohio has one of the largest combined jail and prison populations in the country. (Jail is where people are held pretrial or serve time for misdemeanors, while prisons are where people serve time for felonies.) Pre-pandemic, on any given day, over 70,000 individuals were held behind bars, with around 50,000 people in prison, and around 20,000 people in jail.

  • 05.08.20

    ACLU of Ohio Sends 3 Sets of Records Requests Seeking More Information About Management of COVID-19 for Incarcerated Populations

    By

    Person washing their hands

     

    Ohioans behind bars are especially vulnerable to contracting COVID-19. The ACLU of Ohio sent three sets of records requests to learn more about what Ohio officials are – and are not – doing to prevent and mitigate the spread of the highly contagious and often deadly virus.

  • 04.29.20

    The Legacy of the Kent State Shootings: 50 Years Later

    By

    Kent State, May 4 - Photo by John Filo

     

    In this last week, protesters took to the streets all across the nation to protest quarantine and lock down orders put into place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged the world. In Ohio, to the dismay of many, there were several days of protesters swarming the Ohio Statehouse in order to make their voices heard to illustrate their disdain of the state of Ohio under lock down.

  • 04.28.20

    Reducing Ohio Jail Populations Will Help Flatten the Curve, So What Are Counties Doing About It?

    By

    Blurry charts and graphs

     

    Last week the ACLU along with academic partners released a new epidemiological model that shows COVID-19 could claim the lives of as many as 200,000 people – double the federal government’s estimate – if jail populations are not dramatically and immediately reduced.

  • 04.21.20

    COVID-19 Highlights Long-Known Issues of Systemic Racism

    By

    Blurry charts and graphs

     

    At least 27 states and Washington D.C. have begun releasing racial breakdowns of COVID-19 in their jurisdictions. The data released so far has shown that by in large Black people are dying at disturbingly disproportionate rates. For example, Black people represent 43 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Illinois, but make up only 14 percent of the state’s population.

  • 04.10.20

    Coronavirus Will Spread like Wildfire in our Prisons without Sweeping Action

    By

    Person washing their hands

     

    Coronavirus has landed in Ohio’s prisons. This is no surprise. That’s why the ACLU of Ohio and other advocates have been urging Governor DeWine, ODH Director Acton, DRC Director Chambers-Smith, and DYC Director Gies for several weeks to use their powers to quickly and safely reduce incarcerated populations across Ohio – especially for those most vulnerable.

  • 04.01.20

    Updates On Our COVID-19 Hotline for Ohio’s Incarcerated Population

    By

    Person washing their hands

     

    Through our hotline, [email protected], we’ve heard from over 100 people with incarcerated loved ones – mostly in the state’s prisons – reporting that people are in danger, and that they are terrified now that the virus is in the prisons.

  • 03.11.20

    ACLU of Ohio Expresses Concern in Letter to Gov. DeWine Regarding the Prevention & Management of COVID-19 for Incarcerated Ohioans

    By

    Person washing their hands

    On Tuesday, March 10, 2020, ACLU of Ohio Executive Director Ben Guess and Legal Director Freda Levenson sent Ohio Governor Mike DeWine a letter urging an immediate plan of action regarding the state’s prevention and management of COVID-19 and its impact on incarcerated Ohioans.

  • 02.26.20

    Sub. House Bill 215 – Opponent Testimony

    By

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ opponent testimony on Sub. House Bill 215. This was delivered to the House Criminal Justice Committee on February 26, 2020.


    To Chairman Lang, Vice Chair Plummer, Ranking Member Leland, and members of the House Criminal Justice Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present opponent testimony on Substitute House Bill 215.

  • 02.26.20

    Senate Bill 260 – Opponent Testimony

    By

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ opponent testimony on Senate Bill 260. This was delivered to the Senate Health, Human Services & Medicaid Committee on February 26, 2020.


    To Chairman Burke, Vice Chair Huffman, Ranking Member Antonio, and

    members of the Senate Health, Human Services & Medicaid Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present opponent testimony on Senate Bill 260.

  • 02.26.20

    House Bill 431 – Opponent Testimony

    By

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ opponent testimony on Senate Bill 260. This was delivered to the House Criminal Justice Committee Committee on February 26, 2020.


    To Chairman Lang, Vice Chair Plummer, Ranking Member Leland, and members of the House Criminal Justice Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present opponent testimony on House Bill 431.

  • 01.30.20

    Our thoughts on Criminal Rule 46 and why it is NOT enough

    By

    Ohio Supreme Court

    Ohio needs REAL bail reform. Every day in Ohio, thousands of people are kept behind bars, not because of what they have done, but because of what they don’t have. Our state’s overreliance on cash bail sets up a two-tiered system of justice in which those who can afford to buy their freedom go home, and those without deep pockets are pointlessly forced to languish behind bars.

  • 01.22.20

    House Bill 1 – Proponent Testimony

    By

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ proponent testimony on House Bill 1. This was delivered to the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 22, 2020.


    To Chairman Eklund, Vice Chair Manning, Ranking Member Thomas, and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present proponent testimony on House Bill 1.

  • 01.21.20

    House Bill 285 – Proponent Testimony

    By

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ proponent testimony on House Bill 285. This was delivered to the Senate Local Government, Public Safety & Veterans Affairs Committee on January 21, 2020.


    To Chairman Manning, Vice Chair Brenner, Ranking Member Maharath, and members of the Senate Local Government, Public Safety & Veterans Affairs Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present proponent testimony on House Bill 285.

  • 01.21.20

    House Bill 158 – Proponent Testimony

    By

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ proponent testimony on House Bill 158. This was delivered to the Senate Local Government, Public Safety & Veterans Affairs Committee on January 21, 2020.


    To Chairman Manning, Vice Chair Brenner, Ranking Member Maharath, and members of the Senate Local Government, Public Safety & Veterans Affair Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present proponent testimony on House Bill 158.

  • 01.10.20

    We Fought to Curtail Abusive Homelessness Policies in Cincinnati. And We Won.

    By

    David Carey and Joe Mead

    Hamilton County has one of the highest rates of homelessness in Ohio.  In the City of Cincinnati alone, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that over 7,500 people—about 1,800 of whom are children—will experience homelessness in any calendar year. 

  • 11.20.19

    Senate Bill 140 – Proponent Testimony (Written Only)

    By

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ proponent testimony on Senate Bill 140. This was delivered to the House Criminal Justice Committee on November 21, 2019.


    To Chairwoman Lang, Vice Chair Plummer, Ranking Member Leland, and members of the House Criminal Justice Committee, I write to express the ACLU of Ohio’s support for Senate Bill 140.