COLUMBUS—  On November 8, a majority of Ohioans voted in support of State Issue 1, a ballot proposal to enshrine cash bail into the Ohio Constitution. The ACLU of Ohio has been an outspoken opponent of this misguided effort, and encouraged voters to reject Issue 1, through canvassing and text banking, high-profile speaking events, media interviews, opinion pieces, and direct advocacy to its constituency. The ACLU of Ohio worked closely with The Bail Project, Ohio Families Unite for Political Action and Change, and others to form a strong coalition of advocates and organizations opposed to State Issue 1.  

Issue 1 was sought as a rebuke to the Supreme Court of Ohio decision in DuBose v. McGuffey, issued in January 2022, which underscored the longstanding constitutional principle that bail is excessive when it exceeds the amount necessary to guarantee the appearance of the accused person.  

The ACLU of Ohio has been a longtime proponent of bail reform policies and works closely with organizations across the political spectrum to improve pretrial fairness in Ohio.  

The following statement can be attributed to Jocelyn Rosnick, ACLU of Ohio Policy Director, and Patrick Higgins, ACLU of Ohio Policy Counsel: 

“We are deeply disappointed that Issue 1 passed, and we stand by the hundreds of thousands of Ohioans who voiced their opposition to this harmful proposal. We know that cash bail does not keep us safe, and the system disproportionately punishes and targets Black and Brown Ohioans, as well as people from economically disadvantaged communities. This is not the outcome we wanted, but the fight for true bail reform is not yet over. We now turn our attention and focus to the Statehouse for the forthcoming lame duck session in which Ohio lawmakers will have the opportunity to support and advance House Bill 315 and Senate Bill 182, bipartisan companion bills that make meaningful improvements to Ohio’s broken pretrial system--truly making our communities safer while curbing wealth-based detention and freeing up millions of taxpayer dollars. The ACLU of Ohio is prepared to do everything in its power to advance solutions that work for the people most impacted. We are eager and hopeful that Ohio lawmakers will vote in support of true bail reform legislation in this critical time.”