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Service Projects

Ohio Governor’s Expedited Pardon Project

The Ohio Governor’s Expedited Pardon Project aims to expedite the process by which people apply for a pardon under Ohio’s laws. The project seeks to reduce challenges surrounding pardon applications in Ohio for people meeting certain criteria who can show that they have been rehabilitated and have contributed positively to their communities. Governor DeWine launched the Ohio Governor's Expedited Pardon Project in 2019 in partnership with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) and project team members the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and the Reentry Clinic at University of Akron School of Law. The project was expanded in November 2021 via a grant administered by ODRC.

Opportunity Port

Opportunity Port is an online portal that connects those with criminal records in Franklin County, Ohio with the legal help they need to complete and file a record sealing application. Columbus City Council spearheaded the initiative under the leadership of Councilmember Rob Dorans. The project was awarded $500,000 by The Ohio State University Alliance for the American Dream, a collaboration with Schmidt Futures, and brought to the Moritz College of Law to be managed by the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center (DEPC) in July 2021.

Marijuana legalization and expungement in early 2021

The Collateral Consequences Resource Center, with support from the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, produced a report and an accompanying infographic that summarize the groundbreaking criminal reforms enacted in early 2021 as part of marijuana legalization and situate them in the national context.

Report
Abstract Summary
Link
Report
“Must Pass a Criminal Background Check”: Interpretations and Impacts of Ambiguous Criminal Background Check Statements
Abstract Summary

Criminal history plays a substantial role in the hiring process, and many employers place criminal background check requirements in their position advertisements. However, a non-trivial number of criminal background check statements in position advertisements are ambiguous. For example, common statements note as follows: “Subject to successful completion of a background check” or “Must pass a background check.” Interestingly, no research has examined how employers and individuals with criminal history interpret ambiguous statements, and how such statements could impact employment searches. The purpose of this research was to address both of these gaps.

Report
Ensuring Marijuana Reform is Effective Criminal Justice Reform
Abstract Summary

This paper from DEPC Executive Director Douglas A. Berman and affiliated faculty member Alex Kreit discusses how Arizona should best advance marijuana legalization so that it can significantly improve Arizona’s criminal justice system.

Report
Leveraging Marijuana Reform to Enhance Expungement Practices
Abstract Summary

This paper, authored by Douglas A. Berman and published in the Federal Sentencing Reporter, spotlights and seeks to link two reform trends: revisions of marijuana prohibitions and expanded opportunities for expunging criminal records. Although new marijuana laws and enhanced expungement regimes may seem unconnected, reform momentum in both arenas often emerges form similar concerns about the injustices of mass criminalization. Moreover, the import and impact of new marijuana policies and expungement practices may be enhanced if advocates and policy makers effectively link these reform movements. 

Event Recordings

Clemency and Record Relief Focus Area Experts