What is Ohio’s Issue 1?

What’s Issue 1?

It’s no coincidence that the theme of our upcoming #FIX216 scope-a-thon is criminal justice reform and that we’re standing in support of ballot initiative Issue #1, which will appear on your ballot this November. Issue #1: The Safe & Health Ohio Amendment strives to disrupt our current mass incarceration system by shifting money and people out of prisons and into comprehensive healing services.

Issue 1 has four main components that collectively aim to increase safety in our communities and they are;

1. Encourage Rehabilitation with Earned Credit

This amendment will provide currently incarcerated people opportunities to be active citizens once again by expanding Ohio’s current earned-credit program. Incarcerated citizens will be able to earn 1 day off their prison term for every 2 days they participate in programs including job training, victim awareness, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and obtaining a GED. This credit would cap at 25% of a person’s sentence. This excludes people who are convicted of murder, rape, or child molestation.

2. Addiction Alone Shouldn’t Land you in Prison

Drug possession offense that constitutes as a fourth or fifth-degree felony would be reclassified as a misdemeanor, thus preventing them to enter prison. However, drug trafficking felonies will remain as felonies. Retroactively, any individual who was convicted of a fourth and fifth-degree drug possession felony will be reclassified as a misdemeanor.

3. Probation Violations don’t Belong in Prison

This amendment will prohibit for probation violations that are not new felonies or misdemeanors. Each probation department will be encouraged to create a system of rewards and punishments that create meaningful, local accountability for people on probation.

4. Re-Invest in Healing, get Safety

The previously three reforms will shrink the state prison population, yielding a minimum of $100 million in annual budget savings. This amendment mandates that the savings be used to heal people most affected by addiction and crime. The $100 million in savings will be disaggregated for the following purposes:

70% for Drug Treatment Programs in the most affected areas
15% for Trauma- Recovery Services for crime survivors
15% for making the existing justice system abides by these rules

Source and additional information can be found at Ohio Organizing Collaborative (OOC)

We believe that there is no better way to fight for our democracy than by voting — Join us this November in supporting Issue 1 and #ReclaimTheBallot!