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Senate Bill 3: The Next Step in Criminal Justice Reform?

Last November, Ohio voters failed to pass Issue 1, a constitutional amendment that would reduce penalties for certain drug offenders, taking on Ohio's opioid epidemic and large prison population. However, the measure — and its defeat — did start a conversation on criminal justice reform in Ohio. 

On March 6, Ohio Senate Bill 3 (SB3), a comprehensive plan for drug-sentencing reform, was introduced. The bill reduces penalties for possession of illegal drugs but toughens punishments for drug trafficking  - and also contains some criminal justice reforms that resemble those proposed in Issue 1. While likely to undergo some changes, the Ohio Senate hopes to pass SB3 by the summer recess. If passed, the bill would become state law.

Larry Obhof

President, Ohio Senate


Zach Klein

Columbus City Attorney


Stephanie D. Howse

Ohio House of Representatives, District 11


John J. Eklund

Ohio Senator, District 18


Karen Kasler

Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio and Television

Natalia Garcia is a digital producer for the education team at Ideastream Public Media.