Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ohio House Passes Collateral Sanctions Legislation to Remove Barriers to Employment

Release: <blockquote>
COLUMBUS—State Representative Ross McGregor (R-Springfield) today announced that the Ohio House of Representatives has passed House Bill 524, collateral sanctions reform legislation that focuses on the elimination of barriers that ex-offenders often face when trying to obtain jobs after their release from prison.
Collateral sanctions are restrictions, disabilities, or penalties beyond the direct punishment imposed on individuals at the time of sentencing. The legislation, which was jointly sponsored with Representative Tracy Maxwell Heard (D-Columbus), updates Ohio’s criminal statutes to ensure that those who might have a previous conviction or plea of guilty can obtain employment without facing an unnecessary barrier.
House Bill 524 is a jobs bill that offers ex-offenders more opportunity to be contributing members of society and not recidivate,” Representative McGregor said. “It’s important to that our criminal statutes make sense, and this bill makes important common-sense reforms while also helping to keep Ohio’s prison population down. I’m extremely pleased to see its passage.”
One in every six Ohioans are ex-offenders. By reducing collateral sanctions, the legislation will increase employment opportunities for individuals with criminal records, thereby likely reducing recidivism and potentially increasing payroll tax revenues for local communities.
House Bill 524 will now move to the Ohio Senate for further debate and consideration.