COLUMBUS—Wednesday afternoon, just eight days after the high-profile announcement that sweeping bail reform legislation was being introduced, State Reps. David Leland (D-Columbus) and Brett Hillyer (R-Uhrichsville) will deliver sponsor testimony on House Bill 315 before the House Criminal Justice Committee.
“We know why this is important: On any given day, over 60 percent of the people in Ohio jails haven’t been convicted of a crime – they’re in jail because they can’t afford to pay bail,” said Rep. Leland. “If you’re stuck in jail because you can’t afford bail, you could lose your job, your home, or even custody of your children.”
Studies show cash bail disproportionately harms people of color in Ohio, cash bail makes Ohioans less safe, and bail reform would save Ohio taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
“Bail was created to ensure the return of the accused – it was never intended to be a way to keep people incarcerated indefinitely,” said Rep. Leland. “If we believe someone is so dangerous they represent a threat to people or property before their trial, then let’s give judges the power to keep them in jail rather relying on high cash bail amounts that only create the illusion of safety.”
Senate Bill 182, identical companion legislation to House Bill 315, had its first hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday.
The first hearing for HB 315 will be held in Room 121 at 2 p.m., or at the conclusion session.