The ACLU of Ohio is committed to advancing community reentry by working to eliminate barriers – legal or otherwise – that serve no purpose toward public good.

The crisis of mass incarceration did not happen on its own; fear-based and racially motivated policies created it. As such, it will take equally deliberate, forward-thinking, and equity-focused policies to undo it and unlock opportunities for the 1.9 million Ohioans with criminal records. The ACLU of Ohio is aims to advance community reentry in several ways:

  1. Increasing awareness of barriers to reentry and the need for reform.
  2. Eradicating all collateral sanctions not aligned to the crime committed and whose intent is not connected to the preservation of the public good (Visit the Ohio Justice and Policy Center's CIVICC database for more insight into what collateral sanctions exist in Ohio).
  3. Ending the practice of excessive lookback periods and screening mechanisms that keep individuals with criminal records (and even arrests) locked out of opportunities. After all, the research is clear: in as little as three years removed from a conviction, individuals are no more likely than someone without a record to commit a crime.

Furthermore, we will continue to uplift policy recommendations outlined in the 2016 report: Looking Forward: A Comprehensive Plan for Criminal Justice Reform in Ohio. This report, done in partnership with the Ohio Justice and Policy Center was delivered to the Ohio General Assembly Criminal Justice Recodification Committee and included several policy solutions to reentry barrier: (1) Reducing employment and housing restrictions for government and government funded entities; (2) enhancing judicial discretion in decisions for record sealing.

We recognize that true reform must go beyond state and local policy. Private institutions must be willing to alter their screening and selection processes as well. We simply cannot continue to operate in a one strike and you’re out manner. All individuals deserve a second chance.

Stand with the ACLU of Ohio as we work to reduce collateral sanctions and advance community reentry.

The Need For Reform

A Way Forward

A list of resources and citations for this research can be found here.

DISCLAIMER – The information on this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Every case depends on the specific facts and circumstances involved. To submit a complaint for review, please go to our Legal Help page.