Charles Koch Institute Forum in Columbus Examines how Ohio can Continue to Buck the Trend of Overincarceration

Impact of recent criminal justice reforms on well-being opportunity, addressed by issue experts

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Charles Koch Institute hosted a panel discussion in Columbus today to examine how recent changes and current challenges to Ohio’s criminal justice system are impacting lives, particularly those of non-violent offenders caught up in the system, their families and communities. The event, Bucking Trends? How Ohio Is Tackling Its Criminal Justice Challenges, featured national and state criminal justice experts who explored how meaningful criminal justice reform can improve opportunity and well-being throughout the Buckeye State.

“Getting it right on criminal justice reform doesn’t just mean that states such as Ohio will see their prison populations and incarceration budgets decline,” said Vikrant Reddy, a senior fellow on criminal justice and policing reform at the Charles Koch Institute. “Sound criminal justice policy gives former offenders the opportunity to rebuild their lives and become productive members of society rather than be more easily led into a life of crime. It can also mean greater personal and financial stability for the families of incarcerated individuals. Streets also become safer when former offenders are rehabilitated and find employment instead of repeating bad behavior.”

Like many states over the past several years, Ohio’s criminal justice system was in need of an overhaul. Its prisons were strained beyond capacity due to decades of stiff sentencing laws, while other laws made it harder for former prisoners to rejoin society. The results after decades of a “tough on crime” approach were stark:

However, leaders from both sides of the aisle came to together to pass reforms that have produced positive results. The prison population has slowed, violent crime is down and recidivism has hit its lowest point – 31.2 percent – since 1991. Ohio leaders are now looking at how to build on the momentum of these successful reforms and shared ideas of how to do so at the Charles Koch Institute’s forum.

“Today’s discussion highlighted how meaningful criminal justice reform can take root when people from both sides of the aisle come together for an informed discussion,” said Reddy. “The Charles Koch Institute was pleased to host this event and is optimistic that Ohio’s criminal justice system will continue to improve with the dedicated leadership it has seen on this issue.”

This forum is one of a series of nationwide events the Institute is holding to examine the impact of the criminal justice system on offenders, their families and communities and how reform can improve overall well-being and opportunity.

EVENT DETAILS

Opening Remarks: Sen. Bill Seitz, Ohio State Senate

Moderator: Vikrant Reddy, Senior Fellow, Charles Koch Institute

Panelists:

  • Robert Alt, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions
  • Anne M. Connell-Freund, President, Ohio Justice Alliance for Community Corrections
  • Dr. Ronnie A. Dunn, Associate Professor of Urban Studies, Cleveland State University
  • Stephanie C. Hightower, President and CEO, Columbus Urban League
  • Gary Mohr, Director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

ABOUT CKI: The Charles Koch Institute is a non-profit educational organization, with nearly 2,500 alumni of its programs, focused on the importance of free societies and how they increase well-being for the overwhelming majority of people. Through sound research, education and robust discussion, the Institute aims to advance understanding of what it means to flourish and how to enhance people’s ability to lead better lives.

Media Contact:
Christine Czernejewski
Charles Koch Institute
Phone: 571-242-3238
Christine.Czernejewski@charleskochinstitute.org

###

04-05-2018 08:04pm

Second Chances for Prisoners Help All of Us

Read more

03-20-2018 09:03am

Iraq at 15

According to a new poll conducted by the Charles Koch Institute and Real Clear, Americans do not think that the Iraq War has made the United States safer, nor do they think the Middle East is more stable.

Read more

02-13-2018 09:02am

Julie Warren Profile

After working at the U.S. Department of Justice, and as a criminal appellate lawyer for the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office, Julie Warren is devoted to improving the system for everyone—from parolees to police.

Read more

Oops! We could not locate your form.