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Bill Increasing Monitoring of Violent Criminals Gets Another Chance in the Ohio Legislature

photo of the parents of Reagan Tokes
Reagan Tokes' parents at 2017 announcement of the act

A bill that would deal with the way violent criminals are monitored once they are released from prison has been reintroduced in the Ohio Legislature. It’s named for Reagan Tokes, a 21-year-old Ohio State University student who was kidnapped, raped and murdered by a recently released felon in 2017. 

Republican Representative Rick Carfagna (R-Genoa Township) says he’s unsure why lawmakers only passed one part of the Reagan Tokes Act in December. But he says the part that lawmakers didn’t pass that deals with monitoring inmates after they are released is important.

“We just can’t have dangerous felons wandering around homeless with no guardrails or support. I mean, that’s a recipe for disaster.”

One change from the original bill employs the current criminal background check system used by police agencies for GPS monitoring rather than creating a separate database. The man convicted of killing Tokes was wearing a GPS system that wasn’t being actively monitored.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.