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Governor Kasich Signs New Collateral Sanctions Law

On June 26, 2012, Governor Kasich signed Senate Bill 337 (SB 337), which removes, or creates mechanisms for removing, a wide range of so-called “collateral sanctions” against ex-offenders and prisoners who are reentering society.  These collateral consequences create major barriers to prisoner reentry and encourage recidivism by ex-offenders by making it more difficult for ex-offenders to find a job, attain economic self-sufficiency, and/or gain a stable, productive life.  SB 337 will limit or reduce many of those barriers.  Other states have enacted or are considering similar legislation, but SB 337 is one of the most progressive and far-reaching collateral sanctions laws in the country.

SB 337 becomes law on September 25, 2012.  However, some provisions will actually take effect 90 days after that date because the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections must issue more detailed rules implementing the statutory provisions during that 90-day period.

Key provisions in the final version of SB 337 include:

Although the last change might harm some low-income parents, the bill as a whole should greatly benefit many ex-offenders and/or low-income Ohioans.

Anyone with questions about SB 337 should feel free to contact attorney Michael Smalz of the Ohio Poverty Law Center at (614)824-2502 or msmalz@ohiopovertylaw.org.

Categories: Employment, Law Journal, Legislative Advocacy

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