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State Treasurer Candidate Advocates for Criminal Justice Reform

photo of Rob Richardson, Jane Campbell
Ohio treasurer candidate Rob Richardson (left) and former Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell discussed criminal justice reform during his Northeast Ohio campaign swing.

The Democratic candidate for state treasurer was in Northeast Ohio over the weekend to talk about both the state’s finances and criminal justice reform – and how the two might be intertwined if he’s elected.

Cincinnati attorney Rob Richardson campaigned in Akron and Cleveland on Saturday and says as treasurer, he would work to divest the state’s pension funds from privately run prisons. He also said he supports Issue 1, which would reduce drug possession or use from a felony to a misdemeanor.

“Once you do any of these low-level felonies, you no longer can get access to student loans, to housing – you suddenly become a second-class citizen. It becomes much harder for you to reintegrate. I think it actually further exacerbates crime and recidivism.”

The Republican running for treasurer – Findlay State Rep. Robert Sprague -- says the office can’t dictate anything to the pension systems. Richardson says the treasurer does appoint members to the pension funds boards.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.