The Neighborhood Safety and Drug Treatment Amendment reduces the number of people in state prison for low-level, nonviolent crimes and puts the money to better use by directing future savings to drug treatment and victim services. It does not change laws or funding for incarcerating people convicted of serious crimes such as murder, rape, and child molestation.
WHAT THE CANDIDATES SAY: Governor candidates DeWine, Cordray debate Issue 1
Specifically, the amendment:
— Changes low-level nonviolent simple drug possession crimes from felonies to misdemeanors so people convicted of these crimes are held accountable locally instead of in state prison.
— Requires graduated responses, like community service, when people on probation violate minor probation requirements, like missing a meeting with their probation officer, instead of sending these people to prison.
— Authorizes the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections to provide earned time credit incentives to people in prison to rehabilitate themselves to reduce repeat offending.
— Directs all prison cost savings generated from this Amendment — estimated to be at least tens of millions of dollars annually — to local drug treatment programs, especially for people suffering from addiction and cycling in and out of the justice system, and trauma recovery programs for victims of crime.
OPINION CONTENT ON ISSUE 1: