Monday, September 17, 2012

New Ohio"collateral sanctions" Reform

Back in June Ohio Governor John Kasich signed Senate Bill 337, reforming "collateral sanctions" in the state.

The bill, sponsored by Cleveland Democratic Sen. Shirley Smith and Cincinnati Republican Sen. Bill Seitz, was introduced in April and had been noted to have surprised some conservative Republican friends of the Governor when he announced that he would support a bill that eases restrictions on job-hunting felons who have been released from prison, after a decade of Republicans passing tough-on-crime bills in Ohio's legislature.

Senator Smith was quoted as telling the Cleveland Plain Dealer that enactment of the bill would "benefit thousands of rehabilitated citizens who have paid their dues to society and want to move on with their lives."

Once time served, the new law will allow a former inmate to seal one felony and one misdemeanor conviction or two misdemeanor convictions, but not two felony convictions. It creates a certificate of qualification that will give him/her access to some occupational licenses that they previously could not obtain, such as jobs such as truck drivers and barbers, and excludes certain juvenile records from public records requests.

Full text of the bill is here, and the Ohio Legislative Service’s analysis here.

The bill goes into effect on Friday, September 28th. 2012

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