Proposed legislation establishes a presumption of release and restricts wealth-based detention
(May 18, 2021) COLUMBUS — The Bail Project issued the following statement today following the introduction of bipartisan bail reform legislation in Ohio.
“We are thrilled by the introduction of comprehensive bail reform legislation in Ohio that will make the state’s pretrial system more just and equitable. Cash bail puts a price tag on the presumption of innocence and a person’s access to a meaningful due process. It’s an unjust policy that fuels racial and economic disparities in the legal system and costs the state more than $300 million in taxpayer dollars every year. Recent statewide poll results show that the majority of Ohioans support bail reform. The introduction of these bipartisan, companion bills is a leap forward in the right direction.”
The proposed bills will establish a presumption of release for all individuals within 24 hours; require a condition of release hearing within 48 hours for those who may pose a risk of willful flight or to the safety of others; and require judges to make written findings on the record, if bail is set, about its necessity and a person’s ability to pay. The bills were introduced by Senator Rob McColley (R), Senator Steve Huffman (R), State Representative David Leland (D-Columbus), and State Representative Brett Hillyer (R-Uhrichsville).
About The Bail Project
The Bail Project is a national nonprofit that provides free bail assistance and community-based pretrial support for thousands of low-income Americans every year. We restore the presumption of innocence, reunite families, and challenge a system that criminalizes race and poverty. To date, The Bail Project has secured freedom for nearly 16,000 people in over 24 cities across the country. Learn more about The Bail Project at bailproject.org.