Where Do We Go From Here?: Criminal Justice Reform in Ohio


By Drug Enforcement and Policy Center Staff | Spring 2021

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Ohio has a long history of criminal justice reform and drug sentencing reform, and yet few can be pleased that Ohio still has the 12th highest incarceration rate in the country and one of the highest rates of overdose deaths. With the passage of HB1 and the failure of SB3 at the end of 2020, many are left wondering what can and cannot be achieved through legislative reforms in Ohio.

Our panel of experts discussed Ohio’s recent reform history, what we might expect in the near future, and how research and experience in other states can inform reform efforts in the Buckeye State.

A recording of the event is available to watch on the DEPC Facebook page. A transcript is also available below.


Where Do We Go From Here?: Criminal Justice Reform in Ohio

Recorded February, 24, 2021

Speakers:
Sara Andrews, executive director of the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission
Gary Daniels, chief lobbyist at the ACLU of Ohio
Micah Derry, state director for the Ohio chapter of Americans for Prosperity
Andrew Geisler, legal fellow at The Buckeye Institute
Kyle Strickland, deputy director of race and democracy at the Roosevelt Institute and senior legal analyst at Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity

Moderators:
Douglas A. Berman, executive director of the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center
Alex Fraga, senior research associate at the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center

WATCH THE VIDEO

READ THE TRANSCRIPT

Drug Sentencing in Ohio Resource Page

In addition to organizing this event, DEPC has gathered a variety of other resources to aid in understanding the complex evolution of criminal justice and drug sentencing reforms in Ohio. Our resource page includes a timeline of major Ohio reforms since 2010, commentaries and writings on current and past drug sentencing reform efforts in Ohio, DEPC’s prior events focused on Ohio’s criminal justice reforms, and research aimed at answering some of the most important questions raised by proponents and opponents alike.

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About the Speakers


Sarah Andrews

Sara Andrews

Sara Andrews is the executive director of the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission. Prior to leading the Commission, Sara served as deputy director of the Division of Parole and Community Services and chief of the Adult Parole Authority at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. She also serves as Ohio’s commissioner for the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision.


Gary Daniels

Gary Daniels

Gary Daniels is the chief lobbyist of the ACLU of Ohio and works in the ACLU of Ohio regional office in Columbus. Gary has worked for the ACLU of Ohio for nearly 20 years. Gary works with local and statewide elected and government officials to further the ACLU’s mission. He is a frequent commentator on civil liberties issues in local, statewide and national media.


Photograph of Micah Derry

Micah Derry

Micah Derry is the state director for the Ohio chapter of Americans for Prosperity, coordinating grassroots efforts and advocating in the state legislature for economic and criminal justice reforms. He has spoken across the United States on self-development, communication, and public policy issues. Micah is currently engaging the legislature on drug policy and policing issues.


Andrew Geisler

Andrew Geisler

Andrew J. Geisler is the legal fellow at The Buckeye Institute’s Legal Center. In this capacity, Geisler works on criminal justice and other legal policies that promote fairness and focus on how to make Ohio’s communities safer, reduce government spending, and help people become contributing members of society. Geisler is also an adjunct professor at Otterbein University.


Kyle Strickland

Kyle Strickland

Kyle Strickland is the senior legal analyst at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and deputy director of race and democracy at the Roosevelt Institute. His work focuses on local and national civil rights issues, criminal justice reform, fair housing policy, and equitable access to education. In addition, Kyle leads the coordination of My Brother’s Keeper Ohio.