NEW The Ohio Organizing Collaborative and the Ohio Prisoners Justice League organized a “Caravan to Columbus” protest, calling on Governor Mike DeWine to release 20,000 people who are incarcerated. The Supreme Court of Ohio issued guidance to local courts regarding COVID-19. “At bail hearings, issue recognizance bonds, unless there is clear and convincing evidence that recognizance release would present a substantial risk of harm.”
Judges in Cuyahoga County held a rare Saturday court session to work out plea deals and facilitate release. People who were recently arrested also appeared before a judge on Saturday to avoid having to wait until Monday.
The Hamilton County Common Pleas presiding judge signed an order authorizing the county sheriff to release people from the jail at the sheriff’s discretion. At the time the order was signed, the jail was at double its capacity.
Judiciary Branch-Led Change
NEW Ohio Criminal Rule 46 took effect on July 1. The rule calls for the court to release a person on least restrictive conditions that will reasonably assure appearance in court, the protection or safety of any person or community, or prevent the obstruction of justice, when a person is not detained. Financial release conditions should be related to risk of non-appearance, and should be in the amount least costly to the person. Courts are required to establish bond schedules.
Community & Grassroots Action
NEW Ohio Could Save Big By Implementing Bail Reform: A Fiscal Impact Analysis estimates that ending wealth-based detention would save the state $199- $265 million annually. The report, from the ACLU of Ohio, also found that in all four jurisdictions that were analyzed, Athens, Cuyahoga, Franklin and Vinton counties, Black people were charged and jailed at much higher rates than white people.