In 2011, Ohio’s prisons were operating at 33 percent over capacity with about 51,000 people. By 2015, that population was projected to grow by 3,000 people. From 2010–11, the CSG Justice Center worked with Ohio state leaders to develop data-driven policy options designed to reduce corrections spending and increase public safety. CSG Justice Center experts interviewed stakeholders across the criminal justice system and conducted a comprehensive analysis of Ohio’s criminal justice data. Ohio’s justice reinvestment legislation was signed into law in 2011. Among other things, the law:
- Holds first-time property and drug offenders accountable in more meaningful ways by requiring them to serve probation terms and receive treatment;
- Adopts statewide admission criteria for community corrections programs that prioritize placement for people who would benefit most from intensive supervision and treatment; and
- Establishes statewide standards for probation to ensure greater consistency from county to county.
These policies are projected to reduce spending by $78 million and save up to an estimated $500 million in averted construction costs by 2015. The legislature reinvested $10 million of its FY2012–13 budget in new funding to improve probation supervision and reduce revocations. Ohio received implementation guidance from the CSG Justice Center.