Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ohio House Passes Collateral Sanctions Legislation to Remove Barriers to Employment

COLUMBUS—State Representative Ross McGregor (R-Springfield) today announced that the Ohio House of Representatives unanimously passed Senate Bill 337, 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. SB 337 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. The House had previously passed its own version of the legislation, which was jointly sponsored by Representative McGregor and Representative Tracy Maxwell Heard (D-Columbus).

“Senate Bill 337 offers ex-offenders a better chance of being contributing members of society and staying out of prison by ensuring they aren’t unnecessarily hindered in their job search,” Representative McGregor said. “The bill makes important and reasonable reforms that will help keep Ohio’s prison population down, and I’m proud that the House supported it.”

One in every six Ohioans is an ex-offender. Reducing collateral sanctions will likely reduce recidivism and has the potential to increase payroll tax revenues for local communities