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Reform for Ohio Parole

This petition had 89 supporters

In Ohio, the nature of the offense is the primary deciding factor in parole review, as opposed to who the individual is now, and his conduct since then. Other factors related to rehabilitation are not considered either.  This means, getting an education in prison, being put on meds, getting off drugs, doing programs in prison to better oneself and getting certificates, getting job skills from programs inside prison, and having good behavior, "True Reform" of the person, means less in parole review than the error the person made in their life many years before.  This means people do not get a second chance to turn their lives around, and defeats the purpose.  This is a problem for many seeking parole who have truly bettered themselves and why Ohio's parole needs reformed.  Please fix this so that people in prison can have a true second chance and parole will become useful again.  Reform Ohio parole today!  Many of our loved ones will not have a fair chance at parole if this is not fixed.  Additionally, Ohio’s parole system is broken and unjust. At the crux of this injustice is a group of inmates known as “old-law prisoners” who were sentenced before 1996. A Truth-in-Sentencing law passed that year in Ohio but was not made retroactive for those already imprisoned. So now there are at least 3,000 old-law inmates who have been in for 19 years or more. Some, like Willie Lagway, for over three decades.   The risk of re-offending decreases sharply with age. As the New York Times put it, “They [old-law prisoners] are denied parole,…not because of misbehavior or any real concern for public safety, but because of the ‘seriousness’ of the original offense – which never changes, though the person who commits it can and often does.”   If the old-law prisoners were released and prisons closed that had housed 3,000 prisoners, it would save the state $78 million annually.

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