Ohio proposal expands placing low-level offenders in community

COLUMBUS (AP) – The current version of the Ohio budget expands a program allowing low-level felony offenders to remain in their communities under supervision without going to prison.

At issue are efforts to ensure public safety while reducing the number of people sent to prison.

The Ohio Senate’s two-year budget proposal would spend $19 million next year on grants to counties to provide treatment and supervision options to help fight opioid addiction.

The proposal would spend $39 million in 2019 when fifth-degree felons from Ohio’s ten largest counties would no longer be eligible for prison.

Offenders are typically guilty of drug possession or theft. People convicted of violent crimes or sex offenses don’t participate.

Ohio has just over 50,000 inmates, down from 51,000 a year ago.

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