LookingForward: A Comprehensive Plan for Criminal Justice Reform in Ohio is a report compiled by the ACLU of Ohio and the Ohio Justice and Policy Center. Published in March 2016, it offers a blueprint for long-term criminal justice reform in Ohio. The report is being presented to lawmakers responsible for revising Ohio’s criminal code.
On May 19, Laurie Briggs, ACLU of Ohio board member, and Maria Bruno, ACLU of Ohio policy associate, presented a special program on the corporate ownership of prisons. The evening included the screening the documentary, Prisons for Profit, followed by discussion. Prisons for Profit chronicles the first 18 months in the life of the nation’s first state prison sold to a for profit corporation.
In 2011, the Lake Erie Correctional Institution in Conneaut, Ohio, was sold to Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and quickly deteriorated. This film shines a light on the many unforeseen, and oftentimes harmful, changes that take place once prisons for profit take over. Through startling facts and personal interviews of employees, local officials, and relatives of prisoners, Prisons for Profit offers a glimpse into how private prisons can harm staff, prisoners, and communities.
Ohio has a mass incarceration crisis. The state has the sixth largest prison population in the nation. Despite a 30-year low in violent crime, the state’s prison population has increased 12 percent in the last decade. In 2014, taxpayers spent over $1.7 billion to operate the state prison system alone.
Every dollar spent on prisons is a dollar not spent on crime-survivor services, schools, addiction treatment, mental healthcare, and other services that enrich our communities and keep people out of the criminal justice system in the first place.
The ACLU of Ohio and the Ohio Justice and Policy Center have published a new report calling for criminal justice reform. Use the link to the left to download a copy.