COLUMBUS - Tomorrow, October 31, at 11:00am the House Criminal Justice Committee will hold a 4th hearing on Senate Bill 55, legislation that will increase penalties for drug trafficking within 1,000 feet of a treatment center. This bill reinforces the extremely flawed “Statehouse to Prison Pipeline” and bolsters the failed policies of the War on Drugs. The ACLU of Ohio and the Office of the Public Defender oppose this bill and urge members of the committee to cast a “no” vote.
The following statement is attributable to Gary Daniels, Chief Lobbyist for the ACLU of Ohio:
“Senate Bill 55 represents everything wrong with Ohio lawmaker’s approach to criminal justice reform, or the lack thereof. If this bill is passed it will erase the positive gains that Senate Bill 3 and House Bill 1 could bring if and when they are passed. Legislators often bemoan the number of people behind bars in Ohio. Yet, they fail to realize it is their own actions, via the numerous bills they pass to create new crimes & enhance sentences that is the driving factor behind Ohio’s mass incarceration crisis. If Ohio legislators are truly serious about ending the thoroughly failed War on Drugs, they must reject harmful & destructive bills like SB 55.”